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


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kevin Wang (2 months ago)
The church entrance is free and definitely worth visiting this gorgeous cathedral with frescos adorning the numerous ceilings. Be mindful of visiting during church service times. Also, I would highly recommend the organ recitals here ($5/person), which can be purchased in the small courtyard by the main entrance. This Baroque Church built in 1688, still serving as the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Passau, hosts the largest church organ, with 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, at its initial completion, which is still the largest organ outside the U.S.
International Traveling Clown (4 months ago)
Entry to the cathedral is free, but closes at 1030 for preparation of concert by organ. You can purchase tickets to hear the largest organ in the world be played!
Y妹Y笨 (5 months ago)
Absolutely stunning interior of this cathedral. A stop to make in Passau for sure.
Ian B (5 months ago)
Like most church buildings in Bavaria, & Austria, it is crammed with frescos and gilded statues in a lavishly decorated manner; no expense spared. It was a short walk from Danube mooring, but as it was 36c we didn't venture any further. There's a large square in front of the cathedral which is used as a car park. Wheelchair friendly. Free entry.
Greg Thomas (6 months ago)
The church is a magnificent example of art and architecture. Beautiful art work on the ceilings, and just an amazing piece of architecture. Obviously the renovations at the moment do not do full justice to the building to be appreciated, but notwithstanding, you can clearly get a great sense of the cathedral. The pipe organ, with its ~17000 pipes, I'm sure is an incredible musical instrument, but the concert we attended, was simply horrid. It sounded like the organist felt obliged to prove there were in fact 17000 pipes. It was a mismash of bits of music, mashed together and some of it was very dark. I personally do not think it showed what a remarkable instrument they have. If only considering the church, this is a five star place to visit, but the pipe organ pulls it down to only the stars.
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