Oberammergau’s world famous Passion Play:
Oberammergau, a small colourful alpine town in Germany, is inundated by visitors once every ten years. This town is world famous for its Passion Play, a play about the “Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
The Passion Play was the result of a desperate plea by the people of Oberammergau when their village was faced with annihilation. With the Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648) raging, and compounded by the plague in 1632, the entire village was threatened with extinction. The surviving villagers made a pledge that if there were spared from total destruction, they would forever more stage a play about Christ’s Passion. No further deaths occurred after the pledge and the people have kept their promise ever since that time.
The next Passion Play
The 42nd Passion Play will take place in 2020. Up to 2,000 of Oberammergau’s inhabitants will transform themselves into Jews and Romans in this 5-hour long spectacle. For the villagers of Oberammergau, taking part in the Passion Play is an honour.
During the first Passion Play, the stage that was erected was in the cemetery above the fresh graves of the plague victims. Today, the Passion Play takes place at the Passionsspielhaus in the centre of Oberammergau. This theatre seats approximately 5,000 people. The premiere takes place on May 16, 2020 and the play runs October 4, 2020. In all there will be 102 performances.
As the play runs for 5 hours, the performances are split into two parts. The first part starts at 2.30 p.m. and ends at 5.00 p.m. The second part starts at 8.00 p.m. and ends at 10.30 p.m. This concept was first trialled in 2010 and will be adopted for Passion Play 2020 as well.
Passion Play Bookings
Bookings for Passion Play 2020 are already open if you’re interested in two and three-day accommodation packages. However, if you only want tickets to the Passion Play, the tickets go on sale in 2019. For booking information contact 2020-oberammergau-booking.
Oberammergau is also famous for its wood carving and there are about 120 wood carvers in this village. A Carvers School in town offers courses by specialist carvers.
Dorfstrasse is the main street in Oberammergau. We were here in winter and found it to be a really pretty place with interesting frescoes on all the buildings. Look out for the Rococo church of Saint Paul and the famous Pilatushaus which has a fresco of Christ before Pilate on its facade.