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Passau

From Academic Kids

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Old Town of Passau

Passau is a town in Niederbayern, Eastern Bavaria, Germany, known also as Dreiflüssestadt (the 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.

Its population is about 50,000, of whom 8,000 are students at the local University of Passau.

The University of Passau, founded in the later 1970s, is the extension of the (centuries old) Institute for Catholic Studies. It is renowned in Germany for its institutes of Economics, Law, Computer Sciences and Cultural Science.

Tourism in Passau focuses mainly in the three rivers, the old Cathedral, St. Stephen's - called "The Passau Stephen's Cathedral" (Der Passauer Stephansdom) - and the old part of the City called "The Old City" (Die Altstadt). Many river cruises down the Danube start at Passau and there is also 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, the former fortress of the Bishop, on the mountain crest beween the Danube and the Ilz rivers.

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 1555 Peace of Augsburg.

An interesting fact is that the Inn is the largest river of the three meeting at the city, so that the Danube should really be called Inn from Passau on. However, at the place of the confluence of two rivers, the name is given to the one which is the longest. The Inn may be wider in Passau than the Danube; still, the name stays Danube as the latter is the longer of the two.

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.

Passau is the hometown of Anna Rosmus whose story of the town's Nazi past was told in her 1983 book Resistance and Persecution in Passau from 1933 to 1939 and the 1990 award-winning film, Das schreckliche Mädchen.

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