Main Births etc
Innpromenade and Old town
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Niederbayern
District Urban district
First mentioned
 • Lord Mayor Jürgen Dupper (SPD)
 • Total 69.58 km2 (26.86 sq mi)
Elevation 294−447 m (−1,172.5 ft)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 50,594
 • Density 730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 94001–94036
Dialling codes 0851
Vehicle registration PA

Passau (previously Latin: Batavis or Batavia) 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 north.

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.[2] It is renowned in Germany for its institutes of Economics, Law, Theology, Computer Sciences and Cultural Studies.


In the 2nd century BC, many of the Boii tribe were pushed north across the Alps out of northern Italy by the Romans. They established a new capital called Boiodurum by the Romans (from Gaulish Boioduron), now within the Innstadt district of Passau.[3]

Passau was an ancient Roman colony of ancient Noricum called Batavis, Latin for "for the Batavi." The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe often mentioned by classical authors, and they were regularly associated with the Suebian marauders, the Heruli.

During the second half of the 5th century, St. Severinus established a monastery here. In 739, an English monk called Boniface founded the diocese of Passau and this was the largest diocese of the Holy Roman Empire for many years.

In the Treaty of Passau (1552), Archduke Ferdinand I, representing Emperor Charles V, secured the agreement of the Protestant princes to submit the religious question to a diet. This led to the Peace of Augsburg in 1555.

During the Renaissance and early modern period, Passau was one of the most prolific centres of sword and bladed weapon manufacture in Germany (after Solingen). Passau smiths stamped their blades with the Passau wolf, usually a rather simplified rendering of the wolf on the city's coat-of-arms. Superstitious warriors believed that the Passau wolf conferred invulnerability on the blade's bearer, and thus Passau swords acquired a great premium. As a result, the whole practice of placing magical charms on swords to protect the wearers came to be known for a time as "Passau art." (See Eduard Wagner, Cut and Thrust Weapons, 1969). Other cities' smiths, including those of Solingen, recognized the marketing value of the Passau wolf and adopted it for themselves. By the 17th century, Solingen was producing more wolf-stamped blades than Passau was. In 1662, a devastating fire consumed most of the city. Passau was subsequently rebuilt in the Baroque style.

Passau was secularised and divided between Bavaria and Salzburg in 1803. The portion belonging to Salzburg became part of Bavaria in 1805.

Passau 1892.

From 1892 until 1894, Adolf Hitler and his family lived in Passau. The city archives mention Hitler being in Passau on four 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).

On May 3, 1945, a message from Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart’s 261st Infantry Regiment stated at 3:15 am: "AMG Officer has unconditional surrender of PASSAU signed by Burgermeister, Chief of Police and Lt. Col of Med Corps there. All troops are to turn themselves in this morning."

It was the site of a post World War II American sector displaced persons camp.


The City of Passau is subdivided into eight statistical districts, which in general coincide with formerly separate municipalities.

Statistical Districts of Passau

Nr. District Area[4]
per km²
1 Altstadt 152.6018 3067 2010 historical center, with St. Nikola (incorporated 1870)
2 Innstadt 508.9354 4861 955 right of Inn river, incorporated 1923 as Beiderwies
3 Haidenhof Süd 406.9042 4810 1182 1909 Haidenhof municipality incorporated
4 Haidenhof Nord 871.8241 11292 1295 1909 Haidenhof municipality incorporated
5 Heining 2085.9484 11121 533 incorporated 1972-07-01
6 Hacklberg 1668.8038 5553 333 incorporated 1972-07-01
7 Hals 407.3414 1491 366 incorporated 1972-07-01
8 Grubweg 857.9621 7202 839 incorporated 1972-07-01
  Passau 6954.9200 49397 710  

Main sights[]

Tourism in 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's is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque, built by Italian architect Carlo Lurago and decorated in part by Carpoforo Tencalla. Many river cruises down the Danube start at Passau and there is a cycling path all the way down to Vienna. It is also notable for its gothic and baroque architecture. The town is dominated by the Veste Oberhaus and the former fortress of the Bishop, on the mountain crest between the Danube and the Ilz rivers. Right beside the town hall is the Scharfrichterhaus, an important jazz and cabaret stage on which political cabaret is performed.

Passau from the Veste Oberhaus. In front the Danube River

Passau from the South. In front the Inn River

Twin cities[]

  • United States Hackensack, New Jersey, USA, since 1952
  • United Kingdom Dumfries, Scotland, UK since 1957
  • France Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, since 1973
  • Austria Krems an der Donau, Austria, since 1974
  • Venezuela Colonia Tovar, Venezuela
  • Japan Akita, Japan, since 1984
  • Spain Málaga, Spain, since 1987[6]
  • Czech Republic České Budějovice, Czech Republic, since 1993
  • People's Republic of China Liuzhou, People's Republic of China, since 1999
  • Hungary Veszprém, Hungary, since 1999
  • Italy Montecchio Maggiore, Italy, since 2003

Notable people[]

  • Michael Ammermüller (* 1986), a racing car driver.
  • Alfred Dick (1927–2005), a Bavarian politician.
  • Hans Fruhstorfer (1866–1922), explorer, insect trader and entomologist, born in Passau.
  • Albert Ganzenmüller (1905–1996), who served from 1942 to 1945 as the state secretary of the Reich Transportation Ministry, born in Passau.
  • Henry Gerber (1892−1972), early U.S. homosexual-rights activist, born in Passau.
  • Adolf Hitler and his family, Passau residents for two years from 1892 to 1894.
  • Nicolaus A. Huber (* 1939), composer.
  • Bruno Jonas (* 1952), a cabaret artist and actor.
  • Joseph Maximilian Ritter von Maillinger (1820–1901), Bavarian general and war minister, born in Passau.
  • Gottlieb Muffat (1690–1770), organist and composer.
  • Anna Rosmus (* 1960), controversial German author, Third Reich historian.
  • Ludwig Schmidseder (1904–1971), composer and pianist.
  • Heidi Schüller (* 1950), a West German athlete.
  • Georg Philipp Wörlen

See also[]

  • University of Passau


  1. ^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes" (in German). Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung. 31 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Wir über uns
  3. ^ Collis, John. The Celts: Origins, Myth and Inventions. Tempus Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7524-2913-2
  4. ^ Area figures accurate to the square meter taken from: Stadt Passau Stadtplanung/ Abteilung Geoinformation und Vermessung (April 6, 2009). The sum of these values is 6960.3211 hectares, which is slightly more than the official total of 6954.96 hectares
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[]

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