In the summer of 2000, Oberammergau staged its famous Passion Play, which is performed only 1 year out of 10. Surely the world's longest-running show, it began in 1634 when the town's citizens took a vow to give dramatic thanks after they were spared from the devastating plague of 1633.
The town is packed to the gills all summer for this major event. Attracting pilgrims (and tourists) from around the world, the Passion Play depicts the "suffering, death, and rebirth of Jesus Christ." In many ways, it's an authentic recreation of a medieval morality play. Though the theater and production methods are contemporary, the spirit of the play is highly traditional. The whole production is community-based. Locals do all the acting--the competition for the roles of Jesus and Mary can be fierce. Performances last all day, with a break for lunch. Viewing the production can alternate between tedious and highly dramatic--but in most cases, it's fascinating. Where else would you get to witness such a pocket of medievalism in the modern world?
The Passion Play stage won't be empty and un-used until 2010 though. There is opera! After the great success of the opera performances in the Passion Play theater in 2002 and 2003 this musical experience will be continued in 2004. In addition to Giuseppe Verdi´s Nabucco there will also be "Aida" on the schedule.
"Aida": July 9th and 10th and on September 3rd and 4th 2004 and
"Nabucco": August 6th and 7th 2004.
You can book opera tickets online here:
"Lüftlmalerei" is a handicraft method of wall-painting for decorating the baroque facades in Italy and Southern Germany. This method started to become popular in the 18th century in the foothill region of the Alps, where wealthy traders, peasants and craftsmen displayed their wealth by painting their house facades.
One of the most famous decorated houses is Pilatushaus (on Verlegergasse); painted in 1784 by Franz Zwink. It illustrates Christ's condemnation by Pilate. A short walk around the town (which isn't big enough for a long walk...) will take you past of lots more painted houses, usually with religious or folk-themed images.
This shop has an incredible collection of painted wood-carvings (Gee, I forgot to take down the name of the shop!) & really nice items costing more than US$1000! Now you know why :-) Remarkable skill of the artisans.
Check out the houses with frescoes by Franz Zwink (18th century) that are named after fairy-tale characters 'Hanzel & Gretel House' & 'Little Red Riding Hood House'. (I don't seem to be able to find the photos in my album, will try to upload them as soon as I found those pictures.)
Aren't these the most beautiful paintings you've ever seen on walls of cottages? If you look closely on the reflection in the windows you'll discover the mountains surrounding Oberammergau & if you've the time you can wander off to the mountaintops by the Laber cable railway or the Kolben chairlift!
Oberammergau has beautifully frescoed buildings. The town is not so big that you can't walk around the entirety. Beth and I saw many beautiful frescos. The Pilatushaus is supposedly famous, but the other buldings are just as beautiful, if not more entertaining. The Little Red Riding Hood (Rotkapchen) and Hansel and Grettle buildings, in particular. Also, if you walk around before you buy anything, you can scope out where the good deals are.
The theme for this house was Little Red Riding hood. It is absolutely fantastic to see how fantastic it is painted.
The art of woodcarving has been practised here since the middle of the 16th century. Most of the carvings are done in Linden and Alderwood. Biblical themes are the chosen subject for the motivs.
Oberammergau is famous for its wonderful houses painting in Luftlmalerei style. Many of them show religious subjects, while others show episodes from beer house or scenes drawn by tales.
Besides the houses with frescos, Oberammergau has lots of these traditional houses with windowsills overflowed with brightly colored flowers. I myself find them so beautiful :)
You must go for a walk about in the surrounding hills and down the many paths that come and go from the town.
There are many pretty sights to be seen and the exercise is good for you.
Strolling throughout town discovering many different art forms is one of the greatest pleasure derived from visiting Oberammergau! I love this shophouse, such nice paintings!