Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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.
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. During that time, the Black Plague was sweeping through Europe. The villagers of Oberammergau vowed that is 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, with the 31st Passion Play performances being held May 15th through October 3rd, 2010.
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. During these months, the play is performed 5 days per week in an open-air theater which seats about 5,000 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 500,000 will attend in 2010.
You can can combine the Passion Play with a stay in Munich for as short as 3 nights, or you can take a river cruise, escorted tours or even a Princess Med cruise combined with the Passion Play. Packages are selling out, so book early to avoid disappointment. Visit our Passion Play website to view the available trips and dates.