With only a short time left in Passau, we decided to ignore the rain and do a little sightseeing.
The water level is down a little from yesteday, but the river is still high and swift, and the steady rain continues.
Our first stop was Bäckerei Ratzinger to pick up some Brötchen (small breads) for our picnic lunch, then rounded the corner to the begin our climb to Mariahilf, a church which sits on top of the hill overlooking Passau from the south.
Mariahilf was completed in 1627 and for centuries has served as a popular place of pilgrimage.
To get to the sanctuary, you must climb the “heavenly ladder” of 321 steps.
As we climbed the stairs we saw only one other person. Other than the rain tapping on the roof, the climb was quiet. Many tourists who come to Passau only visit the much larger Dom St. Stephen, leaving Mariahilf feeling serene in comparison.
Above the altar you can see the painting Miraculous Image Maria Hilf for which the church gets its name. It was painted in 1537 by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and became one of the most copied depictions of Mary throughout the region.
The rain had let up, so we went to walk around the grounds.
It turned out to just be a brief break in the rain because then it really started pouring. There is a great overlook spot next to the church where you can see all of Passau and Veste Oberhaus, but we skipped that in favor of the shelter of the stairs.