Travel Blog

The Oberammergau Passion Play

A tradition that began 384 years ago in the midst of the feared plague. Residents of the town of Oberammergau, Germany attempted to protect their town from this awful disease by not letting anyone in from the outside world. One young man managed to get through, with the plague, and within three weeks 84 residents had died from the disease. The rest of the town made a vow to God that if the plague was stopped they would present a play depicting the life and suffering of Christ for the duration of their existence – miraculously, no more lives in the town were taken.

Passion Play Theater Oberammergau © Foto Kienberger

From that day in 1634 the villagers performed their first play and have continued to do so every 10 years in the city. The play has evolved over the years and today is held in an outdoor theatre which sits 4,720 guests (seated undercover). The outdoor stage is set on the backdrop of the magnificent Bavarian Alps, making it a breathtaking setting coupled with spectacular costumes and music.

2020 will be the 42nd performance of The Oberammergau Passion Play – a 6 hour spectacle, performed by over 2000 local citizens.

Watch this short clip showcasing the magnitude of the performance. Although the show is performed in German, visitors will have no problem following along with the story.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness this fascinating tradition. Now is the time to start planning, as this popular event goes on sale years in advance and always sells out!

Things to know:

  • The play operates for 5 months (16 May- 4 October 2020)
  • Performances are held on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • The play begins at 2.30pm and ends at 10.30pm, with a three hour intermission for dinner at 5pm.

Contact us to find out how you can incorporate this one of a kind event into your holiday itinerary.

© Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

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