An Ascendant Performance: The Oberammergau Passion Play

Holiday Vacations is pleased to offer a once-in-a-decade opportunity to attend the Oberammergau Passion Play – an extraordinary stage production in Germany with centuries of tradition delighting audiences worldwide every 10 years.

But what is the Oberammergau Passion Play, and what makes its history so intriguing? We would like to shed some light on this question to help you decide whether the Oberammergau Passion Play, the centerpiece to our nine-day Austria & Germany with Oberammergau and Austria & Germany Featuring Oberammergau tours, is right for you.

The Setting

Oberammergau is a German village 45 minutes southwest of Munich. Nestled into a valley in the Bavarian Alps, the village is known for its traditional trades (wood carvings in particular) and for the colorful frescoes depicting scenes from Christianity and local folklore on its buildings. The city center’s cozy, tree-lined streets have a wealth of intriguing shops, diners with outdoor seating, wine cellars, scenic chalets, and cobblestone sidewalks.

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The Holy Covenant

Oberammergau’s first portrayal of Jesus’ life and death was held almost 400 years ago in 1634. In the early 17th century during the Thirty Years War, the deadly Black Plague broke out in Germany. Oberammergau’s residents (Oberammergauers) gathered and prayed, declaring that if their community would be spared they would produce a play every 10 years about the life and death of Jesus forever-after. Deaths from the plague dropped and the community held its first Oberammergau Passion Play the following year. Inspired by the holy covenant made by their forbearers, Oberammergauers have continued this hallowed tradition into the present every 10 years, a few exceptions notwithstanding.
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A Living Tradition

Even after several generations of tradition, today’s Oberammergauers still uphold their ancestors’ promise. As a rule, only Oberammergau residents may be a performer. Roles have been passed down from one generation to the other, costumes are made by the locals, and performers’ long hair and facial hair are all-natural. Over 2,000 residents get involved in the production – that’s nearly half the population of the village!An Ascendant Performance: The Oberammergau Passion Play 4

An Unforgettable Experience

The story unfolds with 100+ actors in speaking roles, hundreds of extras, a menagerie of live animals, a magnificent orchestra, and choir work as one to tell the story. Most scenes depict memorable stories from the Bible including the Last Supper, the Mount of Olives, Pilate’s judgment, the Stations of the Cross, and The Ascension. The performance is held at the Oberammergauer Passionstheater, an open-air theater with a retractable roof that can accommodate 1,000 players on its stage at once. Seats have backs and are on an incline providing attendees a good view. The performance is divided into two halves with a few hours of intermission between.

In addition to their admission, Holiday Vacations guests will receive a souvenir copy of the Passion Play text, an included dinner that night, and overnight accommodations nearby.An Ascendant Performance: The Oberammergau Passion Play 3

Check out the official Passion Play trailer!

*Warning, this video contains graphic images of the crucifixion.*

A Thrilling Itinerary

Certainly an integral part of Holiday Vacations’ Austria & Germany with Oberammergau and Austria & Germany Featuring Oberammergau tours, the Oberammergau Passion Play is one of many enchanting attractions on this 9-day European getaway. We invite you to browse our itineraries and learn more.

The adventure begins in the baroque city of Salzburg with a city tour and a Mozart-themed dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in Central Europe, the Stiftskeller St. Peter. Witness the Tyrolean alps from the Achensee Steam Cog Railway and on a Lake Achensee cruise. Tour the famous ski resort of Innsbruck and the impressive Tratzberg Castle. Explore the inspiration to Disney’s Magic Kingdom Castle at Neuschwanstein Castle. We’ll even tour Munich, the capital of Bavaria and have a joyful Farewell Dinner at Hofbräuhaus, a famous beer hall, before we return home.

Posted on April 19th, 2019 in Europe, Africa & Asia

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