Posted by: marymarthatours | January 13, 2015

The Glass Museum Passau, Germany

My husband and I recently spent three weeks in Europe enjoying a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is a bit strange to be a traveler on a “guided tour” rather than one of the leaders. The difference between a complex river boat tour with coach excursions and local guides at the various cities for 180 travelers and a Mary-Martha tour of 20-30 participants traveling via one coach is like comparing living in a functioning castle residence to a tiny cottage abode.

As I think back over all the great experiences, many, many stand out. I did some research ahead to learn about sites and museums that we would especially like to see in various cities where we had time to explore on our own. On this trip there was one museum that was a total surprise and that I knew nothing about before the tour. It would have been a tragedy to not use our free time in Passau, Germany to visit The Glass Museum (Glasmuseum Passau).

This is the private collection of one man. It’s numbers over 30,000 pieces of European glass from 1630 to 1950. It is housed in a four storied historic building, part of which is a functioning hotel.


I especially wanted to see the items from about 1890 through the 1930’s which is the time period for Art Nouveau (style in France) or Jungendstil (style in Germany), Art Deco, Vienna Secession, and The Wiener Werkstatte. When we entered we where directed to the fourth floor to begin our museum viewing with the oldest pieces first. But instead, we started at the bottom to be sure to see what interested us most. Good thing, in over one hour with quick viewings of the cases, we covered only two floors. I want to go back for a two day visit!!


The rooms were full of show cases and the cases packed with pristine, gorgeous glass items. Most museums show a few items in a case, here there were dozens on each shelf.

It as mind blowing. Not just one beautiful Art Nouveau vase, vast quantities of them.


We played our game: “on this shelf, which one do you want to take home?” I did find the piece I would most like to call mine. It was in the Wiener Werkstatte room. I fell in love with it: a delicate, tall stemmed art piece with soft colors with a flower form that looked like a thistle. There were also several hundred other pieces that I won my personal approval.



And not only was the glass fabulous, the rooms we walked through were beautiful as well. There was a variety of moldings, ceiling treatments, floorings, panelings, etc. It was a maze of rooms, halls, passageways each full of cases, full of gorgeous glass art. And this is all one man’s collection. Truly, amazing. Thank you, sir, for sharing your treasures with the world.

(by Martha)



  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. The photographs are amazing. I hope to take one of those river cruises in 2016.

  2. Martha, on what line did you travel? Michael and I were in France in October on a river cruise from Marseille until the river got too high for the boat to go under, and thence to Paris by bus, and then to the site of the D-Day landings. We went on Viking and it was very nice. We’re thinking of the Amsterdam to Budapest trip but wondering about which line would be best. Mary Bellis Williams

    • We traveled on a Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We added the two extra days at each end via Viking, but we could made the arrangements for any extra days on our own. We booked our own flights and handled our own transfers to and from airports (at a great savings). The cruise service, food, accommodations, land tours were all superb and there are many options so meet varied interests and needs. For us our research ahead on what we wanted to see during “free time”, paid off well. No problems for us in October with the river levels which can greatly impact the river travel. We were fortunate. Martha

  3. This trip looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing it and for the great pictures.

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