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Passau, Bavaria, Germany
Passau is a town in Niederbayern, Eastern Bavaria, Germany, known also as the Dreiflüssestadt (City of Three Rivers), because the Danube River is joined there by the Inn River from the South, and the Ilz River coming out of the Bavarian Forest to the North.
Passau was an ancient Roman colony of ancient Noricum called Batavis, Latin for "for the Batavi". The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe mentioned often by classical authors, and they were regularly associated with the Suebian marauders, the Heruli.
During the second half of the 5th century, St. Severinus established a monastery here. In 739, an Irish monk called Boniface founded a bishopric here and for many years this was the largest diocese of the Holy Roman Empire for many years.
In the Treaty of Passau (1552), Archduke Ferdinand I, representing Emperor Charles V, secured the agreement of the Protestant princes to submit the religious question to a diet. This led to the Peace of Augsburg in 1555.
During World War II the town housed three sub-camps of the infamous Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp: Passau I (Oberilzmühle), Passau II (Waldwerke Passau-Ilzstadt) and Passau III (Jandelsbrunn).
Tourism in Passau focuses mainly on the three rivers, the St. Stephen's Cathedral (Der Passauer Stephansdom) and the "Old City" (Die Altstadt). With 17,774 pipes, the organ at St. Stephen's was long held to be the largest church pipe organ in the world and is today second in size only to the organ at First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, which was expanded in 1994. St.Stephen is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque,built by Italian architect Carlo Lurago and decorated in part by Carpoforo Tencalla. Many river cruises down the Danube start at Passau and there is a cycling path all the way down to Vienna. It is also notable for its gothic and baroque architecture. The town is dominated by the Veste Oberhaus and the former fortress of the Bishop, on the mountain crest between the Danube and the Ilz rivers.
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