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Oberammergau Passion Play and Altötting in Bavaria, Germany – Podcast 12

Podcast Oberammergau Passion Play Germany

In this travel podcast, I talk about my visit in 2010 the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany and also visiting the pilgrimage town of Altötting that’s known for the shrine of the Black Madonna where many miracles are believed to have taken place. You’ll hear about our walk around Altötting with many stories and anecdotes about the religious sites there and our afternoon cycling to the swimming lake or badesee.

I’ll tell you about the painted houses of Oberammergau and wood carvings, with useful information if you are attending the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2022 and my impressions of the Passion Play performance with background music from the Passion Play.

Note: The 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play has been postponed to 2022 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic – more information on the official website.

Link to audio file

The Crucifiction - Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

The Crucifiction – Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Our visit to Altötting

We started our short visit to Bavaria in the town of Altötting, where we had a tour of the town with a local guide who really brought the place to life with his many stories and anecdotes. Altötting is best known as a pilgrimage town for the Shrine of the Black Madonna situated in the Chapel of Mercy on the main town square.

The dark interior of the shrine and small dark statue of the Madonna and child are richly embellished with silver ornaments and the caskets containing the hearts of the Kings of Bavaria, as well as solid silver statues in front of the altar which have a story behind them.

Read more: A pilgrimage to see the Black Madonna at Altötting in Germany

Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

On our tour around Altötting we visited the church of Philip and Jacob with the famous Tod von Eding clock with a statue of the grim reaper and the church of the patron saint of the town, St Conrad. The water flowing from the water fountain outside his church is thought to be holy as it flows over a relic of the saint’s finger bone.

Our guide told us about the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1980 and how he came to plant the linden tree outside the church. Hiring bikes at the local bike shop in Altötting we cycled along the path beside the River Inn as far as the badesee or swimming lake near Passau.

Read more: Bavarian Lake swimming in the Badesee near Altötting

Swimming lake near Perach in Bavaria

Swimming lake near Perach in Bavaria

Enjoy a hassle-free tour to Linderhof Palace, Oberammergau, and Neuschwanstein Castle, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps

The Oberammergau Passion Play

The Oberammergau Passion Play dates back to 1632 when plague was sweeping through Germany and the villagers made a vow that if they were spared, they would perform a passion play every 10 years.

The play is a community effort and to participate, all the actors and musicians must be either born in the village or have lived for 20 years in the village. We found that everything was very well organised in the village for visitors and you buy a package of play ticket, meals and accommodation, with free shuttle buses to take you around the area.

Pilate condemns Jesus to death Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Pilate condemns Jesus to death Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

The town of Oberammergau itself is an attractive place to visit and even in the years when the play is not being held is well worth a visit, with painted houses and is also known for its wood carving.

Read More: Painted houses and wood carving at Oberammergau – in Bavaria, Germany

The Village of Oberammergau Photo Heatheronhertravels.com

The Village of Oberammergau

The Oberammergau Passion Play is performed in a large theatre which seats 4500 people and is open at one end with a view of the hills behind and although the audience are under cover, the cast and stage are open to the elements. I was impressed by the crowd scenes with around 200 cast members on stage at a time, including young children and animals, making a striking scene.

The play starts with Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey and continues with scenes from his life which were broken up by orchestral and choral music and with ‘living tableaux’ scenes from the old testament. The first half of the play lasts for 2.5 hours starting at 2.30pm in the afternoon with a break of 3 hours for dinner before the start of the second half.

For more information about Oberammergau Passion play tickets, tours and general experience, read my full article: Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play

Jesus enters Jerusalem Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Jesus enters Jerusalem Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

The second half was more dramatic than the first with the trial of Jesus and his walk with the cross, culminating with the crucifixion scene. The darkness falling also added to the atmosphere and again the crowd scenes especially during the trial of Jesus really made you a sense of what it would have been like to be there.

Crucifiction - Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Crucifiction – Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

The play ends with the scene of Mary Magdalene in the garden discovering the cloth that Jesus’ body was wrapped in and Jesus comes forward and shows himself with the candles and torches really adding to the atmosphere.

The Oberammergau Passion Play takes place every 10 years and this podcast was recorded during my visit 2010, with the next performance taking place in 2020.

For more information about Oberammergau Passion play tickets, tours and general experience, read my full article: Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play

Passion Play theatre daytime Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Passion Play theatre daytime Photos: Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Explore more of the region on this day-trip to the splendid castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, lunch in Hohenschwangau, and through the little town of Oberammergau

Hotels in Oberammergau

If you are booking your accommodation independently or visiting outside the period of the Oberammergau Passion Play, here are some hotels in Oberammergau that we recommend, but if none of these suit you, look at other hotels in Oberammergau.

Hotel Maximilian in Oberammergau – A 5 star Alpine design hotel that’s centrally located in the heart of Oberammergau, with a spa and sauna, a traditional Bavarian bar and upscale restaurant.

Hotel Maxmilian in Oberammergau

Hotel Maximilian in Oberammergau

Romantik Hotel Böld in Oberammergau – located by the river Ammer, on the edge of Oberammergau town centre, this 4 star hotel offers contemporary Bavarian decor and scenic views of the Alps.

Romantik Hotel Bold in Oberammergau

Romantik Hotel Bold in Oberammergau

Parkhotel Sonnenhof in Oberammergau – A 55 room 4 star Alpine style hotel with spa and indoor swimming pool, that’s on the edge of Oberammergau, just across the river from the old town.

Parkhotel Sonnenhof in Oberammergau

Parkhotel Sonnenhof in Oberammergau

Altötting – Visitor Resources

More information to plan your trip is available on the Altötting official tourism website

Hotels in Altötting: We stayed at Hotel Zur Post, a pleasant and traditional family run hotel right on the main square. Check prices and book for Hotel Zur Post and other Hotels in Altötting

Visit the Jerusalem Panorama in Altötting website

Oberammergau Passion Play – Visitor Resources

To plan your visit to Oberammergau check out the official Oberammergau Passion Play Passionsspiele website and the Oberammergau official tourism website

You can also get ideas for visiting Germany on the Germany Travel official tourism website and on the Bavaria tourism website.

Our 5 day tour to the Oberammergau Passion Play and other places in the region was booked with Pax Travel who organise holidays to many other pilgrimage destinations.

Looking for a guide to the Oberammergau passion play? We recommend The Pilgrim’s Guide to Oberammergau. If you need a guidebook for visiting Germany we recommend the DK Eyewitness Germany Travel Guide or the Lonely Planet Germany Travel Guide.

More articles about Oberammergau and the Passion Play

Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play
Painted houses and wood carving at Oberammergau – in Bavaria, Germany
An introduction to the Oberammergau Passion Play

More articles about our visit to Altötting from this trip to Bavaria

A pilgrimage to see the Black Madonna at Altötting in Germany
Hotels in Altötting – Review of Hotel Zur Post
Bavarian Lake swimming in the Badesee near Altötting
Delicious Bavarian Food – Wiener Schnitzel and cherries

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Podcast of Oberammergau Passion Play

Photo Credits: Passion Play photos are copyright of the Oberammergau Passion Play and other photos by Heather Cowper

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Mark H
    August 9, 2010 at 1:41 am

    A superb podcast of this remarkable historic and spiritual event. I went there some years ago and still think back to the overall involvement of the entire town for the five or six months of the play.

  • Reply
    Gourmantic
    August 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I first got acquainted with the play from travel brochures when I was a teenager and wondered what it would be like to see it. You’ve taken me back in time! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lainie Liberti
    August 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Heather,
    I just finished listening to your podcast, episode #12, amazing! You are a wonderful story teller and you voice is delightful. I really enjoyed your podcast and you are very inspiring. You’ve got another fan, just wanted you to know!
    Thanks again, and super happy I found your site.

  • Reply
    Hotels In New Delhi
    August 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I first got familiar with the play from travel flyers when I was a youngr and wondered what it would be like to see it.

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    August 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    @ Lainie Thanks – so glad that you enjoyed the podcast – do go and check out the other podcasts – you can subscribe in I-tunes or just go back through my podcast category

    @Hotels in new Dehli – hope you’ll get to see it in your lifetime – if not hope the podcast took you there in spirit!

  • Reply
    HeadingThere.co.uk
    August 14, 2010 at 8:11 am

    […] on Her Travels shares her experiences at the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany which has been performed by the villagers of this alpine community since 1632 […]

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    August 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Wow — I’ve wanted to go to Oberammergau ever since I first learned about the Passion Play tradition. To be able to see an entire community transformed, with so many participants, sounds just thrilling. Thanks for this post — glad I found it on the HeadingThere.com blog carnival!

  • Reply
    Oberammergau Passion Play 2010 | Heather on her travels
    September 11, 2010 at 5:32 am

    […] 12 Oberammergau Passion Play and Altötting in Bavaria – Podcast Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play Painted houses and wood carving at Oberammergau – in Bavaria, Germany Click here for the official website of the Oberammergau play […]

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