Nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, 1 hour from Munich, the small town of Oberammergau, Germany is most well known for their Passion Play. Surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque meadows, visitors from all corners of the world flock to witness Oberammergau’s unique history and to be a part of a rich tradition.
How Did Oberammergau Become Home Of The Passion Play?
In 1632 a terrible plague infested the whole town of Oberammergau and by 1633 nearly every family had come to experience death. Gripped by all the destruction from the plague, all the villagers were in absolute misery so, they vowed to perform a Passion Play every ten years, depicting the suffering and dying of Christ, in exchange for the plague to end. It is said that not a single person fell victim to the plague after the promise. Since 1634, the people have fulfilled their pledge, almost without any interruption, and continued the tradition for over 380 years.
What Is The Passion Play Like?
The Passion Play is the world’s largest amateur dramatic performance and depicts Jesus’ life, from his visit to Jerusalem and leading to his death. The play takes place in the Passiontheater Oberammergau, a large, modern, open air auditorium, which can seat over 4,700 guests. The Oberammergau production takes place in one day and has a running time of 5 hours, from 2:30 pm and ending at 10:00 pm, with a meal break.
The Passion Play demonstrates an impressive community effort of both the production team and the cast. The production involves over 2,000 performers, musicians and stage technicians. The play comprises spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment.
As an integral part of the culture of Oberammergau and to honor their pledge, all of the 2,000 people involved must have been born in the village or have lived there for at least 20 years. The play is as much about the passion of the people of Oberammergau to remain true to their vow and the enormous effort and thought that clearly goes into putting on the play.
The play is now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during every year ending in zero. The 42nd Passion Play will be held from May 16 through October 4, 2020 and 102 performances will take place.
This is your chance to be a part of a rich tradition, surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque meadows, and to witness Oberammergau’s unique history. Even though they are expecting more than half a million visitors, tickets for the Oberammergau Passion Play are expected to sell out.