Pausing in Passau

November 03, 2014  •  2 Comments

After a weekend full of tango dancing and conversation during the Albuquerque Tango Festival with friends old and new, this blog is a bit delayed.  But now, the photographic journey on the Danube continues with the first stop in Germany - Passau.  

The sky was overcast.  The clouds produced fits and starts of rain, giving us many reasons to pause and observe.  Indoors was a good choice and the Glass Museum, which rambled from one room to another like an old adobe, was a perfect fit.  It was literally packed with more than 30,000 pieces of glass and more examples of Art Deco work than I have ever seen.  And I wanted it all!

A shop window in the town also gave pause.  It was a beautiful window and a beautiful shop but what grabbed my attention was a wedding cake as a true work of art.  I thought it was iced with marzipan but it appears to be massa ticino fondant, a sugar icing/filling.  It was created by a journeywoman pastry chef, Bianca Eizenberger.  Kudos!

wedding cake, Passau, Germanywedding cake, Passau, Germany But the main pause in Passau was Dom St. Stephan (St. Stephen's Cathedral), a stunning example of baroque architecture.  Although the current cathedral is baroque (the previous cathedral burned in a devastating 1662 fire), the eastern side carries some of the gothic detailing that was spared the flames, including the window treatment below.  

 Here is a neo-classical pilaster from the rebuilt section of the cathedral.  Staff architect, Fred Black, loved the black flashing at the top.  You can tell he also assisted in all things architectural in this blog.

pilaster, gothic, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, Germanypilaster, gothic, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, Germany

 Upon entering the cathedral, its baroque nature becomes much more obvious.

Ceiling, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, GermanyCeiling, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, Germany

Then there is the organ, which is the largest cathedral organ in the world, with 17,974 organ pipes, 233 stops, and four carillons.  

pipe organ, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, Germanypipe organ, Dom St. Stephan's, Passau, Germany

We had the good fortune to attend the noon organ concert consisting of three different pieces, the first of which I think was Bach.  After the first two measures, tears were rolling down my cheeks.  The sound traveled up from the floor, into my feet, and directly to into my heart and soul.  It was one of the most profound experiences of the trip, and something I never expected.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Steve Immel(non-registered)
These are wonderful photographs, beautifully framed and lit, as always. Your comments about the organ concert and the sound travelling "directly into my heart and soul" was stirring and took me to that moment somehow. Profound seems like exactly the right word for your experience. It must be nice to have an architect on staff along with a private pilot.
Sara Woodburn(non-registered)
I love it all, the architectural details, Baroque colors, and the traveler's emotions!
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