In medieval times, passion plays – plays depicting the last days of Jesus – were performed across Europe. While it is still performed in various locations throughout the world, the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany is special: It’s been staged every 10 years since 1633 when the village pledged to God that if they survived the plague they would faithfully stage a passion play every decade. This year marks the 42nd production of the passion play.
Oberammergau’s Passion Play is truly community event. To participate in the play itself, the actors must have been born or lived in Oberammergau for at least 20 years, making it a family affair. In fact, nearly half of the 5,400 village residents participate in the play as actors, singers, musicians, or in some way behind-the-scenes. The theater was specifically built to house the play, and seats 4,500 people for each performance. This year, the 103 performances will take place from May 16 to October 4th. Each performance is a day-long affair, with the both acts taking 2.5 hours each, with a 3-hour intermission for dinner.
While the Oberammergau Passion Play may be the highlight of your trip, this small town located in the Bavarian Alps is also a place to explore. It is known for its crafts – especially woodworking. Here, you can visit the Pilatushaus, a crafts center where you can watch glass painters and woodcarvers at work. In addition, you can visit Ettal Abbey, where the Benedictine monks brew beer, spirits and make cheese, or drop in on Linderhof Palace – one of Mad King Ludwig’s residences during his reign, or its sister-castle, Neuschwanstein (Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland). And if you love the outdoors, Oberammergau has a wide variety of hiking, cycling and skiing opportunities to satisfy any sports-minded visitor.
You don’t want to miss this once-in-a-decade opportunity to visit Oberammergau. Let Luxury Destinations Concierge plan a trip that you’ll remember forever. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437.
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