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.

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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 (2 years ago)
Very impressive, but can get quite crowded. Best to visit before cruise tours start!
Christian Germany (2 years 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 (2 years ago)
Great place where you can find probably the best I'm restaurant. Do not hesitate to find it personally.
Linda Roe (2 years 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 (3 years 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!
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Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

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A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.