Station: [1] The early trade hub

The long history of the city of Passau was largely defined by its position at the confluence of three rivers – the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz. For thousands of years, these rivers have provided access to far-away territories. The Danube formed the main artery from west to east, while the Ilz and the Inn connected the region with territories to the north and south. Danube and Inn also formed natural barriers against any aggressors; as an additional benefit, the elevated plateau of the Domberg was safe from flooding. The favourable location on the water made Passau an ideal centre for the exchange of goods. It has served as a trade hub for more than six thousand years. However, the narrow peninsula did limit agriculture and farming. The oldest discovery from Passau is a fragment of a bowl dating to the 5th millennium BC. You can see it in the display case in front of you, at the centre of the second row from the top. Was flint already being traded at the confluence of the Danube and the Inn that long ago? Very probably – there is evidence that even during this early period, this stone was exported from Lower Bavaria to Lower Austria.