Leuchter (Oberhausmuseum Passau).
Copyright: Oberhausmuseum Passau
In 1193, the area north of Passau and east of the Ilz river, formerly belonging to the Niedernburg Abbey, fell into the hands of the bishop of Passau.
From that time on it was an essential part of his secular influence and of the later Bishopric of Passau. In the following period the bishop secured the country with a series of castles and ministerial seats. Episcopal castles included Wolfstein, Fürsteneck, Freudensee, Jochenstein and Obernzell.
Since 1219 the Veste Oberhaus in Passau was the main seat of the bishop’s castles. From the “Upper House” (=”Oberhaus”) lead a direct connection to the “Lower House” (=“Niederhaus”). The palaces at the outer corner of the old town of Passau in Eggendobl and Hacklberg were in immediate vicinity.
An important line of sight into the forest connected Oberhaus with the defense tower of Kellberg (nowadays a church tower), which can easily be seen from Veste Oberhaus, was originally a fortified tower built in the second half of the 14th century. To this day, a pitch nose and a loophole have been preserved above the access to the tower at the 1st floor. They can be found today in the west gallery just behind the organ of the church, that was built around the tower later.
From Kellberg there was another fortified tower in sight, which today also serves as a church tower: the one of the parish church of Hutthurm. This mighty tower, built with very strong walls, also had its main entrance in the upper floor with a pitch nose above, that was rediscovered in 2014. The ground floor was originally only accessible through an opening in the vault. Above there are four vaulted floors connected by a staircase in the massive wall. The uppermost bell storey dates to the late Gothic period. Perhaps the Hutthurm Tower once also provided a view to Fürsteneck.
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