Oberammergau 2020

Oberammergau comes around every ten years. It is the most famous and visually stunning presentation of Christ’s Passion in the world.

In 1633, the villagers of Oberammergau made a solemn vow.

In the early 17th century, Germany was in the midst of the Thirty Years War. The bubonic plague had also swept through the surrounding villages. Violence, famine, and disease ravaged the region, and death and suffering were imminent. Fearful and desperate, the residents of Oberammergau prayed for God’s grace. They swore an oath that if God spared them from continued suffering and loss, they would produce a play depicting the life and death of Jesus. And, that they would perform the play every ten years until the end of time. The residents of Oberammergau performed the very first Passion Play that next year.  Afterward, not a single person in the village ever died of the plague.  Oberammergau was spared.  The villagers have faithfully kept their promise to perform the Passion play every decade (except 1940-WWII) for more than 380 years. 2020 will be the 42nd installment of the play.

More than 2000 people are involved in the production of the Passion Play.

All of them are from the village of Oberammergau.  All of them are amateurs.

THE CHOIR | over a hundred choristers will be a part of the 2020 performance.  In the upcoming Passion Play normally 4 vocal soloists and 44 choristers will be performing on stage, at some scenes there will be a total of 64 vocalists.

THE ORCHESTRA | 55 musicians will be sitting in the pit.  In 2020, once again, the music for the Passion Play will largely be based on compositions of Rochus Dedler (1779 – 1822).

THE PLAY | The Passion Play will be performed 103 consecutive days from May 16th to October 4th 2020.

Tours including the Play sell out quickly.  Join one today!

Day Tripping outside Munich… Linderhof, Neuschwantstein, and Oberammergau

In planning my adventure in Germany and Vienna, I knew I wanted to schedule a day trip. One where I could sit back, relax on a motorcoach, and let someone else handle navigating from point A to B to C. This allowed me to experience a scheduled day tour.

I arrived at the meeting point with plenty of time to spare. There was a little confusion regarding what motorcoach might be ours as it was not clearly marked. That did surprise my fellow day trippers and myself since Grayline is a large company. Once they had the right motorcoach at the stop, we all boarded and started on our adventure.

The cost of the day trip (pre-paid), did not include the cost of admission to Linderhof or Neuschwanstein.  Once we were on our way, the tour manager came around to see if we wanted to purchase tickets to tour the castles. I was very happy to find out that we had a choice to purchase both, none, or just admission to one castle. I have toured Neuschwanstein before, but hadn’t toured Linderhof Castle yet. Now if I’ve been to Neuschwanstein, why go back? I wanted to see what it looked like in the winter vs. fall.

Linderhof Castle
Linderhof Castle

We first arrived at the parking area at Linderhof. Our tour manager went and purchased our tickets and we walked the short distance to the castle. Since it’s winter, the garden area was closed and the statues were encased in wooden structures to protect them from the elements. Even with not being able to see the statues, it was still worth the visit during this time of year. While small in comparison to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof is grand and the castle itself quite opulent. I am so glad I toured it. After the guided tour, we immediately started back to the motorcoach as we had a short amount of time before the motorcoach left.

Next stop…Oberammergau, an amazing village with beautifully painted buildings. It was amazing to see this village for the first time. Our motorcoach parked in the area by the Passion Play Theatre and we were given just a half-hour to visit shops or walk into the village. Sadly, it only gave me time to visit two shops. This is what you sign up for when joining a scheduled day trip. Plus, there never seems enough time to truly enjoy a destination. So with that, I know I will visit this village again, but on my own so I have time to walk and take in the painted buildings and beautiful wood carvings this village is famous for.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle

Final destination before returning to Munich…Neuschwanstein Castle. The Marienbrucke bridge is currently closed, so you can’t walk on it to get panoramic images of the castle. I knew about this ahead of time, but still wanted to enjoy seeing the outside of the castle again. There are three ways to get up to the castle, by bus, by horse-drawn carriage, or by walking up the long and winding road. It had snowed the day before and was deemed too slippery for the buses to run. I live in Michigan, and seeing the snow barely on the roads this information surprised me; however, some don’t get the amount of snow that we do. Needless to say, the line for the horse-drawn carriage was quite long. For me, I decided to hoof it up to the castle. It was a great workout and well worth the walk. I loved seeing this majestic castle in the winter.

The tour manager gave such great information regarding the areas we visited and the history. The driver was aces and kept us on schedule. All in all, I give Grayline tours high marks and I would definitely sign up for another tour with them again.