Click on above photo to view it in large format: In Lower Bavaria, the town of Passau, Germany, is located at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz, and Inn Rivers. Note the muddy color of the Inn River at the top, which carries silt from Alpen meltwaters, as opposed to the green Danube in the foreground. One of the many gorgeous sites seen during my Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.
Click on above photo to view it in large format: The old town of Regensburg Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is peppered with tall towers built by merchants in medieval times to showcase their wealth. One of the many magnificent sites seen during my Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.
The phrase “last but not least” comes to mind when I think of Passau. My Viking River ship had sailed down the Rhine, turned left onto the Main River near Frankfort, and finally, merged with the Danube just west of Regensburg. Just three miles from the border with Austria, we docked for one last stop in Germany, at the tiny town of Passau, which squats on a narrow peninsula at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers.
From the waterfront, we climbed to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the cultural and geographic center of the village. Even with twin towers topped by onion domes, the church’s unadorned white exterior was uninspiring. The interior, however, was a much different story. Corinthian columns soared to a ceiling where superb frescoes were surrounded by lavish baroque decorations. Above the main door stood the great organ, which, along with four other organs positioned around the nave, forms largest cathedral organ in the world. Featuring 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, it is played from one central console. This is the reason I had come, to listen to the famous organ concert in Passau, conducted Monday through Saturday at high noon.