It’s time to get ready. The year 2020 may seem like it’s a long time away, but the tiny Bavarian hamlet of Oberammergau is already preparing for its world-famous Passion Play.
Travelers often secure their seats at the Passion Play far in advance since this is an event that draws its audience from all over the world. There’s a lot of competition for a spot. These performances only run 5 days a week from May 16 to October 4.
Being situated in a beautiful and charming part of Germany, most travelers like to weave the experience into a European tour. For the Collette traveler, you’ll have at least seven programs to choose from, ranging from 9 to 13 days in length. Each program includes either a one- or two-night Passion Play premium category package with reserved accommodations and seating at the Passion Play.
Did you know?
- The men who live in Oberammergau begin to grow long hair and beards one year prior to the start of each Passion Play for authenticity.
- The play is performed in German with English subtitles displayed on a screen — though its emotive depiction transcends language barriers.
- Only residents who were born or have lived in Oberammergau for at least 20 years are allowed to participate. Children who participate in the play must have been born there.
Since the play happens only once every ten years, it’s one of those extra special once in a lifetime events that people treasure forever. Learn More Here!
Why is Oberammergau and its Passion Play so special?
Oberammergau tourism is always a fantastic experience, which is why we go there regularly on several of our tours. The village is charming and you can go there for the food and quaint little shops that really capture the culture of Germany and Bavaria. The population is only around 3,000 people or less and in so many ways, it seems like it hasn’t changed in centuries.
When it’s time for the Passion Play, the entire town gets involved. Men and women participate in putting on this huge event that draws spectators from all around the world to come and see. They’ve been putting this play on since 1634 as a promise to God that if He spared the town from the plague that they would perform the play every ten years. Not a single townsperson fell to the plague after their promise and what resulted was the epic, historical event that people from all over the world come to experience.
It’s special not only because of its incredible run, but because only the residents of the town can participate and they really immerse themselves into putting on an incredibly moving and dramatic production that rivals anything you would see on any other stage.
Is the show in German?
It is and I’ll tell you this; I’ve seen the show twice now, and the dramatization transcends language barriers. It’s a production on a grand scale. If there was ever a show in Europe that you just have to see, this is the one. The play takes place on an stage that was built just for this purpose and seeing it performed is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. It’s captivating. The talent, the music, the costumes and the way the town transforms and takes such pride and responsibility in it — it’s a must-see.
How is Collette preparing for 2020?
This year Oberammergau is expecting 500,000 spectators to view 102 performances from May to October. We have 7 different itineraries that include tickets to the performance and expect to have more than 10,000 people attending with us in 2020. Even though it’s still a couple of years away, our guests are already rushing to claim their spot on these tours since tickets to the play are limited. Excitement here at Collette is building as we prepare for the event of the decade — literally.
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