Now, you may ask, what is Oberammergau?
Well, let me explain. It is a Bavarian village in Germany where a passion play is performed by locals every 10 years. The passion is the recounting of the days leading up to and including the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The village of Oberammergau is in southern Germany, in the state of Bavaria. It is situated in one of the world's most romantic settings, about 45 miles southeast of Munich. It is a wide valley surrounded by mountains, meadows, forests and lakes.
While this village has adapted to the 20th century traveler, it has also been able to maintain its medieval character. There are many woodcarver shops and lovely chalets adorning this entire village.
For more than 1,000 years, the locals have worked with cut glass, wax figures and woodcarvings. So when you go there, be sure to take a token of your trip home with you from these craftsmen.
There are two special attractions in town that should be visited by all: the parish church that was consecrated in 1749 and the museum of Oberammergau. Both will give you the feeling of the history for this area.
Now the next question: why Oberammergau in 2010? Well, in 1634 the first Oberammergau passion play was performed by locals. The reason they do this is the plague or "Black Death" had decimated large parts of Europe. The citizens in this village pledged to hold this play every 10 years if their town was spared from further casualties. From that day forward, there were no victims of the plague.
In the year 1680, the play was moved to the first year of each decade. In the early 1800s music was added, and still today, they have an orchestra and choir that truly enhances the play.
Today, all of the actors are locals, just as it was on that first day so many years ago. There are a total of about 2,000 adults and children in the play. They actually grow their hair starting one year before, so as to look more like the original characters they are portraying.
The play is done in two parts from 2:30-5 p.m. and from 8-10:30 p.m. The performances are scheduled from May to September 2010. When you go to the passion play, everything is packaged together, including entrance to the play and museum, two-nights accommodations in a superior class hotel in Oberammergau or in a neighboring village.
Meals included are breakfast and dinner each day and lunch on the day of the passion play. There are also free transfers to and from the play from your hotel.
Everyone who does not speak German will be given an English translation and program book. The play it self, is done in local German.
Thousands of people from all over the world flock to Oberammergau for this great occasion every 10 years. If interested, you must act swiftly, so you will not be left behind.
This is a long way to fly for just two days, so I highly suggest adding this onto another tour while you are there. This way, you get two trips on one set of airline tickets.
Some suggestions for these tours would be the heart of Europe, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and, of course, any of the Alpine tours.
This is a great trip for any church group as well as individuals. For more information, please contact one of our agents at Gadabout Travel.
Rosemarie Mascarenhas is a travel consultant with
Gadabout Travel. She can be reached at (772) 589-0633.