Attacked five times between 1250-1482 (two of these times, the attackers were Passau locals who were rebelling against the bishop), the Veste Oberhaus was finally forced to surrender in the 18th century. Because of its many renovations over the centuries, some come here to study ancient fortification techniques.
Its most notable inhabitant was Napoleon Bonaparte, who used the fortress in his campaign to take Austria. Not long after, and for almost a hundred years, the Veste Oberhaus was a state and military prison, feared as the “Bastille of Bavaria.”
Guests can playfully imagine this as their “Escape from Alcatraz” moment, hiking up and down the steep terrain. Remnants of a fortress wall line a footpath hikers use to tread up (or down), and along the way are various gateways and guard houses.
While there is also a city-run bus in Passau that takes tourists and locals up to the fortress (except for the winter season), making the hike with AmaWaterways will surely be a highlight of your trip and let you enjoy the views all along the way!
Be sure to look out for the Veste Niederhaus on the hill below. Built after the Veste Oberhaus, it served as a smaller second fortress. Today, the Veste Oberhaus is home to a museum (known as the Oberhausmuseum), an art gallery, a viewing platform, a youth hostel, a restaurant and a pre-World War II amphitheatre, which has a history of its own.