After lunch on board our river cruise ship, we toured the tiny town of Vilshofen, Germany. We immersed ourselves in the history of this small village.

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The village of Vilshofen was first mentioned the year 776 AD. The village was named after the river Vilshofen which merges with the Danube River. Until the year 1100 AD, the Bishop of Passau ran the village. Being an important landmark situated on the Danube River, Vilshofen gained full city rights in 1206 AD. From that time on, the city started to look like what it is today. In addition to a row of houses which was built to protect the city from flood, charming towers were also erected to protect the city from being attacked by enemies or the threat of fire. Despite the efforts of the local people, this quaint little town was hit on several occasions by flood. Fire also took its toll on the town completely destroying the city. The locals committed themselves to restoring the city to its former glory. The final protection from flood was made by the canalization of the Danube River and by creating a series of reservoirs capable of absorbing excess flood water.

In Bavaria, Vilshofen is especially known for its “Politischer Aschermittwoch” (Political Ash Wednesday) celebrations. This celebration began in 1953, the Franz Joseph Strauss period, who was the leader of the famous Christian Social Union Party. All the CSU leaders and party members attend Ash Wednesday in Vilshofen increasing the visitors of the city in the 20th century.

Strolling around the little streets, we can see why Vilshofen is well loved by the locals. There are a lot of sidewalk cafĂ©s which enable one to watch the world go by. There is also a promenade along the Danube River for sightseeing or plain boat-watching. The city’s church, St. Johannes Baptist Church (1893) was rebuilt after the city fire and is well worth a visit. This church is a very good example of baroque art.

Vilshofen- Stadplatz
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Kath. Stadtpfarrkirche, St. Johannes Baptist Church

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I bought this postcard so I could remember how magnificent this church is…

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Brunnen Ritter Alain- Vilshofen

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Our visit to this magnificent region was very entertaining and educational. As we embarked on the last leg of our tour (of the highlights along the Danube River), I felt so blessed and so fortunate to have done this trip. We met a lot of interesting people and embraced the history of the towns along the way. And yes I do agree, “the Blue Danube is green… like the grass in Spring”!

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