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Oberammergau Passion Play

The Oberammergau Passion Play is performed in an open-air stage in the Bavarian town of Oberammergau, Germany.  The Passion Play is performed every 10 years.  The next time you can see it will be May through October 2020.

Where is Oberammergau?

Oberammergau is a town located approximately 60 miles from Munich. The town is beautiful, surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque meadows. The village is known for woodcarving. There are dozens of woodcarver shops. The town is also famous for its Bavarian themes painted along side many of the homes and buildings.

History of the Passion Play

What made the town famous, was its performance of the Passion of Christ every decade. It is believed that the Passion Play has been held every 10 years since 1634. A play of life and death, promised in a moment of mortal threat, and so began the history of the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1633.  During that time, the Black Plague was sweeping through Europe. The villagers of Oberammergau vowed that if their town was spared, they would perform the Passion of Christ every 10 years. The town was spared, and it is amazing that they have been honoring this pledge from generation to generation.

The Passion Play performance follows Christ from His triumphant entry into Jerusalem through His Trial, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.

Interesting Facts About the Oberammergau Passion Play

To be in the play, you must be a resident of Oberammergau. Over 2,000 citizens are involved including acting, singing, musicians and technical support.  There are 124 speaking roles, a 65-member orchestra, 48 person chorus and hundreds of people involved in the back end including stagehands, seamstresses, firemen, auditorium attendants and more. Men grow out their hair and beards to make the look authentic to the time. Costumes are hand made. 

The play is held May through late September or early October.  During these months, the play is performed 5 days per week in an open-air theater which seats about 4,700 people. The performance begins at 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is then a dinner break, and the play resumes from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The play is performed in German, but it doesn't seem to stop people from all over the world, including those that are not of religious backgrounds that are intrigued by the way the town comes together to perform this play. It is anticipated over 750,000 will attend in 2020.

The Passion Play theatre is open, and the background of the mountains makes it an unforgettable scene. 

Oberammergau Passion Play Tours

As featured in USA Today in 1999, Atlas has one of the largest selections of Passion Play tours available on the internet. Packages range from 3 nights with a focus just on the Germany, to 20 night tours visiting several surrounding countries.  With over 25 years experience in the travel industry, you can book with confidence knowing that you will receive a high level of service and are traveling with the best tour companies in the industry.

Estimated Passion Play 2020 Timeline:

End of 2017: There will be more information about prices for tickets and processing *

End of 2017: Estimated setting up the "Passion Play office" in Oberammergau *

Beginning of 2018: Start sales of packages *

Ash Wednesday 2019: The "Hair Decree" - from this date on all the men in Oberammergau taking part in the play are requested to let the hair on their heads and faces grow *

April 2019: Leading actors are chosen for the play

* May - September 2020: The 42nd Passion Play takes place

Email or call us to be places on our wait list for Passion Play tour information as soon as it becomes available.

Priority Wait List:

Sign up for our no obligation wait list to be the first to receive updates and package information as it becomes available for Oberammergau 2020.  Simply email us at or call us at 800-942-3301.

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