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Day 11: Passau, Germany

Saint Stephen will remain, all hes lost he shall regain, seashores washed by the suds and foam, been here so long, hes got to calling it home...lyrics from the song "St. Stephen" by the group the Grateful Dead.

semi-overcast 19 °C

Our visit to Passau was divided into two parts. The first part was a walking tour of the city with our objective being St. Stephen's Cathedral. The second part of our journey was a bicycle tour of the countryside with half of the ride in Germany and the other half in Austria.

Passau was founded more than 2000 years ago by the Celts and is one of Bavaria's oldest towns. It is called the city of three rivers (the Pittsburg of Germany?) where it sits at the confluence of the rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. This city sits at where Germany meets Austria.

The walk up through town to come to St. Stephen's Cathedral was colorful and lined with many shops and cafes.

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As there was still a bit of morning fog, St. Stephen's Cathedral had an eerie appearance to it.

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Although there have been many churches built on this site, this current baroque cathedral was built from 1668 to 1693. As we entered the cathedral we noticed that there is quite a bit of construction ongoing, nonetheless it was still quite beautiful.

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But the real star of the show here at the cathedral is the largest church organ outside of the US. The organ contains 17,774 pipes, ranging in size from a few inches to over 40 feet. A central console coordinates this system of pipes that are spread in several collections throughout the cathedral. We attended a 30-minute organ concert at noon that was coordinated with several bells that hang in the north and south towers.

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We then walked down to the river once again where we could view the Veste Oberhaus Castle. Nestled atop a ridge on the other side of the Danube, the castle was first founded in 1219. However, the inscription 1499 on the front facade (the 4 is half of an 8) shows only one of the years of construction. It was formerly the residence of the Bishop of Passau.

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We made our way back up to the cathedral but not before passing some colorful sites along the way (including the artistic district).

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The second part of our journey started after lunch. We were introduced to our power-assisted bikes that made peddling a bit easier (especially up-hill!).

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The ride was thru a forest along the Inn River until we reached a bridge over to Austria, where we walked our bikes across.

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Once across the bride to Austria, we took a break at a local restaurant and took some photos of the area.

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We headed back, but this time on the Austria side of the river until we reached Passau, Germany once again. We stopped at a bridge crossing the Inn River for a panoramic view of the city as well as a beautiful view of an air balloon rising in the distance.

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As the sun began to set on our time in Germany, we set sail to Melk, Austria but not before witnessing the confluence of the rivers at Passau.

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Posted by Argenti Travel 12:38 Archived in Germany

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