St. Stephen's Cathedral

Passau, Germany

St. Stephen's Cathedral is a baroque church built in 1688. Since 730, there have been many churches built on the site of the current cathedral. The current church, a baroque building around 100 metres long, was built from 1668 to 1693 after a fire in 1662 destroyed its predecessor, of which only the late gothic eastern side remains. The cathedral's overall plan was made by Carlo Lurago, its interior decoration by Giovanni Battista Carlone, and its frescos by Carpoforo Tencalla.

Over time, the Passau Cathedral has acquired the largest organ outside of the United States. It is also the largest cathedral organ in the world. The organ currently has 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, all of which can be played with the five-manual general console in the gallery. Portions of the organ have their own mechanical-action or electric-action consoles, for a total of six consoles.

The cathedral has eight large bells in the bell rooms in the north and south towers. The heaviest, Pummerin at 7550 kg cast in 1952 and Sturmerin weighing 5300 kg cast in 1733 hang in the south tower. The other six bells hang in the north tower.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Zengergasse, Passau, Germany
See all sites in Passau

Details

Founded: 1688
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Derek Smith (8 months ago)
Very impressive, but can get quite crowded. Best to visit before cruise tours start!
Christian Germany (8 months ago)
Probably the biggest baroque cathedral outside Italy, and for sure one of the most beautiful cathedrals worldwide - on par with the finest basilicas of Rome. Highly elegant, hugely impressive, breathtaking, magic- even after the 1000th visit! Not to mention the majestic organ, the largest church organ worldwide until some years ago
Martin Domiter (9 months ago)
Great place where you can find probably the best I'm restaurant. Do not hesitate to find it personally.
Linda Roe (9 months ago)
St. Stephens Cathedral in Passau is not to be missed. Passau was a stop on our Viking Grand European Tour. What a lovely little village! St. Stephan’s is a must-see and a must-hear. The Cathedral is magnificent inside. This Cathedral has the largest organ in Europe. We not only attended mass there but heard an organ recital.
David Sherwood (10 months ago)
Our visit to St. Stephan's Cathedral was excellent! This is a beautiful baroque cathedral built in the 1600's with much gilding inside and famous frescos. The highlight though is the church organ system which actually incorporates five organs (with one in the dome!) all played by a single organist. This provides truly incredible surround sound! There are daily noon-time concerts in the late summer/early fall. Admission is just a few Euros. There are no assigned seats so come early. Try to sit as close to the middle as possible. The concert lasts about one hour. We were told that the baroque concept was to make one feel as if one were in heaven already. That certainly came true during the organ concert!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.