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 (3 years ago)
Very impressive, but can get quite crowded. Best to visit before cruise tours start!
Christian Germany (3 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 (3 years ago)
Great place where you can find probably the best I'm restaurant. Do not hesitate to find it personally.
Linda Roe (3 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 (4 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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Trullhalsar Burial Field

Trullhalsar is a very well-preserved and restored burial field dating back to the Roman Iron Ages (0-400 AD) and Vendel period (550-800 AD). There are over 340 different kind of graves like round stones (called judgement rings), ship settings, tumuli and a viking-age picture stone (700 AD).

There are 291 graves of this type within the Trullhalsar burial ground, which occurs there in different sizes from two to eight metres in diameter and heights between 20 and 40 centimetres. Some of them still have a rounded stone in the centre as a so-called grave ball, a special feature of Scandinavian graves from the late Iron and Viking Age.

In addition, there is a ship setting, 26 stone circles and 31 menhirs within the burial ground, which measures about 200 x 150 metres. The stone circles, also called judge's rings, have diameters between four and 15 metres. They consist partly of lying boulders and partly of vertically placed stones. About half of them have a central stone in the centre of the circle.

From 1915 to 1916, many of the graves were archaeologically examined and both graves of men and women were found. The women's graves in particular suggest that the deceased were very wealthy during their lifetime. Jewellery and weapons or food were found, and in some graves even bones of lynxes and bears. Since these animals have never been found in the wild on Gotland, it is assumed that the deceased were given the skins of these animals in their graves.