If you are looking for a reason to visit Munich or anywhere in Bavaria, then I have one for you; The Oberammergau Passion Play. With this in mind, you can plan a nice Bavaria tour around this event.
The first performance of Oberammergau passion play in 2020 takes place on 16th March 2020, and this year’s promises to be the best one yet. Here are other things you should know about the event.
The Story of Oberammergau Passion Play
The Oberammergau passion play comes up every 10 years, and it is an important part of Oberammergau’s history. The passion play started in the year 1634. This was a result of a covenant, the people of Oberammergau had with God during the plague in the year 1633.
The plague led to the loss of lives and properties, and no solution was imminent. Due to this, the survivors decided to beg God for a miracle. Science wasn’t strong enough and scientists would probably be burned on stakes.
They promised God that should he spare their lives and stop the plague, they will honor him with a passion play. The play tells about the story of Jesus’ life and death and takes place every decade. After this, the plague didn’t stop, but the number of visitors was the basic miracle. Money!
Ever since then, the city kept to their word, and the tradition has been passed on from generation to generation.
Oberammergau Passion Play Venue
The first-ever edition of Oberammergau passion play took place on the grave of people that suffered from the plague from 1633. This continued until a stage was built for the event in 1820. In 1930 the stage was reconstructed with special attention to the audience seats that were initially made from just wooden benches. The seats were upgraded to the standard of a theatre setting and could hold about 5000 seats.
The next and latest upgrade of the venue took place in 1999 and it cost $15 million euros. The stage was renovated, and other facilities like wheelchair accessibility, covered seats, and measures to prevent fire accidents were incorporated. With that renovation, the Oberammergau Passion Play Venue is now a standard theatre venue. Infrastructure quality ensures comfortability, security, and safety.
Oberammergau Passion Play Performers
Performers of Oberammergau passion play are always natives of Oberammergau village. Also, people that have lived there for a not less than 20 years. The play comprises of many roles including those behind the scene. There are the vocalists, the technicians, actors, and the instrumentalists. In total, more than 2000 individuals come together to bring the event to life.
For the Oberammergau people, the passion play also serves as a means of showcasing their rich custom. So expect to enjoy music and fashion presentations alongside the play.
Coming up in the Passion Play
Oberammergau passion play music is a work by Rochus Dedler in 1779. It is a very soulful and expressive tune. Orchestras and choirs present the music. It is one of the most beautiful and emotional scenes of the Oberammergau passion play.
Oberammergau passion play in 2020 would be the 42nd edition of this event. There are many facets to the play. There are dialogues, musical presentation and motionless acts with biblical themes. The biblical texts are from both the old and new testaments, that happens between scenes.
The words spoken are usually in German and subtitles are provided in English, but the scenes are easily relatable and understandable. The music is one of the most important aspects of the play, you will definitely enjoy this!
Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020 Duration
Every decade, the play usually runs for a period of 5 months. The first performance for 2020 will be on 16th March 2020. The last performance will be on the 4th of October 2020. The play takes place every day of the week except on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The final part of the performance tells the passion of Christ’s story. This has to do with Jesus’ life and death, and how he suffered for what he believed. All of these take about 6 hours long.
On play days, there will be 2 separate parts. Part 1 will run from 2:30 pm till 5 pm in the evening. Part 2 will run from 8 pm till 10:30 pm at night. There is a 3 hours break between both parts that would be used to serve dinner.
Planning a Tour to Oberammergau
Oberammergau passion play in 2020 affords you the opportunity to have a fun time with your loved ones in Bavaria. There are so many beautiful places to see.
I like that apart from the passion play, Oberammergau is also a great tourist location with fascinating sights to relive. It gives you that medieval feeling with its traditional paintings on the wall and religious edifices of past centuries.
The village also offers some of the earliest vocations such as crafting, wood carving and potting.
To make the best out of the Oberammergau passion play, you have to plan your trip well. This is a peak tourist period. Here are some things you should consider doing in Oberammergau.
Tour Fairytale Town
The houses present bright and colorful paintings on their walls. This was done around 1922 and it lasted a period of 3 years. The paintings, by an artist named Throll, show the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel.
Visit the Pilatus House
The Pilatus House is one of the most revered buildings in Oberammergau. It is a building that holds some of the most historic monuments of Oberammergau. You will see the front yard of the house with a painting of Jesus by the Pointus Pilate. This is where the building got its name from. There are also a lot of artworks and exhibitions on display.
Not far and impressing Ettal Abbey and Linderhof Palace
The enormous Ettal Abbey is located just before you enter Oberammergau. It is such a fascinating sight and tourists love to take a picture there. Another place of note is the Linderhof palace not too far from Oberammergau. Don’t forget to bring your camera along with you!
Visit the Church St. Peter and Paul
The interior of the Paris Church St. Peter and Paul is none like you have seen before, especially the amazing frescoes. Designed by the great Matthew Guenther the frescos are impressive.
For an amazing time
Oberammergau passion play is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you can’t afford to miss this year’s edition. Remember that the next one is in 10 years’ time!
So start planning your trip and book your tickets now. Tickets are very limited and sell out fast.