Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the
Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube
is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the
Passau's population is 50,415, of whom about 10,000 are students at
the local University of Passau. The university, founded in the late
1970s, is the extension of the Institute for Catholic Studies (Katholisch-Theologische
Fakultät) founded in 1622. It is renowned in Germany for its
institutes of Economics, Law, Theology, Computer Sciences and
Passau was secularised and divided between Bavaria and Salzburg in
1803. The portion belonging to Salzburg became part of Bavaria in
From 1892 until 1894 Adolf Hitler and his family lived in Passau.
The city archives mention Hitler being in Passau on 4 different
occasions in the 1920s for speeches.
During World War II the town housed three sub-camps of the infamous
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp: Passau I (Oberilzmühle), Passau
II (Waldwerke Passau-Ilzstadt) and Passau III (Jandelsbrunn). It was
the site of a post World War II American sector displaced persons
Passau focuses mainly on the three rivers, the St. Stephen's
Cathedral (Der Passauer Stephansdom) and the "Old City" (Die
Altstadt). With 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, the organ at St.
Stephen's was long held to be the largest church pipe organ in the
world and is today second in size only to the organ at First
Congregational Church, Los Angeles, which was expanded in 1994.
Organ concerts are held daily between May and September. St.Stephen
is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque,built by Italian architect
Carlo Lurago and decorated in part by Carpoforo Tencalla.
Oberhaus - The building is located on the mountain crest (St.Georgsberg)
between the Danube and the Ilz rivers and dominates the city of
Passau that is located on the opposite, right side of the Danube.
Below Oberhaus on the tip between the rivers Ilz and Danube is Veste
Niederhaus, part of the fortress system. The fortress was attacked
five times between 1250 and 1482. Twice, 1298 and 1367, the citizens
of Passau themselves rebelled against the Bishop. Veste Oberhaus was
never conquered militarily. The Bavarians occupied the fortress in
1741 but were forced out by the Austrians one year later. They
returned the fortress to the Bishop in 1745.
Secularization in 1802 brought an end to the rule of the Bishop.
Initially Napoleon occupied the fortress in his struggle with
Austria, but in 1805 it surrendered to the Austrian army. After the
Congress of Vienna the area was controlled by Bavaria. For a century
the fortress became a state and military prison. In 1932 the City of
Passau gained possession and instituted a museum. Today it also
contains a youth hostel and a restaurant.
the town hall is the Scharfrichterhaus, an important jazz and
cabaret stage on which political cabaret is performed. The
Scharfrichterhaus (executioner’s house) in Passau, Germany, is
designated as a national historical treasure and was built circa
1200. Located on “Milk Street”, it was the official residence for
the Scharfrichter (executioner) of the city of Passau. It is now an
important jazz and cabaret stage on which political cabaret is
From early historical documents, we know that from the 13th century
to the year 1443 the building was the feared “Prislig” prison.
Around 1620, during the 30 years war, then executioner Kaspar would
distribute small slips of paper that would make the owner
invulnerable. This went into the history books as “Passauerkunst” or
Art of Passau.
Two features enrich the appeal fo the Scharfrichterhaus today. The
first is a cafe that is part of the house and which is modeled after
a Viennese coffeehouse of the 19th and 20th century. The second
feature is a restaurant with an additional wine-cellar in which
selected wines and food can be enjoyed very inexpensively.
The patio of the ScharfrichterhausThe building of the Scharfrichter
theater also contain the independent “Scharfrichter-Cinema”. The
Passauer film operator Manfred Vesper has rented its rooms, since
the 5th February, 1987. However, the initiative for it came from
Walter Landshuter who turned to Vesper with the idea to furnish a
cinema, fitting to the remaining program of the Scharfrichterhaus.
In this intended rooms has been already tried some years to present
once a week, an ambitious cinema which has not been accepted by the
Passau with its unique charm and its atmosphere is one of the most
beautiful and spectacular German cities on the Danube.