Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Residence of the Bishops



The square is bordered in the north by stately residential buildings, on the south side by the Neue Residenz (New Residence), the newer palace of the bishops, and on the west side by the Gothic east choir of the Cathedral as well as the Marshall's house which juts forth beside it. The Wittelsbacher Fountain, which was built in the Baroque style in 1903 to commemorate the annexation of Passau to Bavaria 100 years before, stands in the middle of the square. The column of the fountain is topped by Mary as the Queen of Heaven and patron saint of Bavaria, on whose lap the boy Jesus is seated. 3 angelic figures at their feet symbolise Passau's 3 rivers. The figure with the heads of grain in her hair is the Danube, which flows through the fruitful Bavarian alluvial plain. The figure with the pearls in her braids is the Ilz, in which fresh water mussels flourish even today that, in turn, produce valuable pearls. Last but not least, the figure wearing the Tyrolean hat is the Inn, which originates in the Alps.