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Passau, Germany

Passau Situated in Lower Bavaria, Passau, Germany is known as the “City of 3 Rivers” where the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the South (which flows from Innsbruck) and the Ilz from the north. Salt from the salt mines in Salzburg were brought here and stored in towers and traded along the river. Salt became a mode of payment and trading. It is said that the word “salary” came from the word “salt”. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture. It houses what was long held to be the largest pipe organ in the world (19,974 pipes and over 200 stops) and today is second in size only to the organ at first Congregational Church in Los Angeles. Organ concerts are held daily during the busy summer tourist season and we were fortunate to enjoy. It was brilliant! There are actually five (5) different organs of which the 5th is strategically placed behind the ceiling in the center. The beautiful frescoes (“fresh” – freshly painted artwork on fresh walls) depicted scenes of heaven and stories of the bible. Since many were illiterate, the pictures illustrated much of the bible to them. Transport yourself to the 1500-1600′s before people had electricity, heat, and the conveniences of modern day life and you will understand how the Church was truly a haven and “heaven on earth”. Liz

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