My wife and I were part of a tour group that traveled through Germany and Austria in the late summer of 2010. There was so much to see and so many wonderful places to visit, but the crowning jewel of our vacation was visiting a small town in Bavaria called Oberammergau. This town is so special because of their passion plays that they put on every ten years. 2010 just so happened to be one of those years.
The passion plays of Oberammergau are so amazing because the entire town gets involved, over a 2000 person production, and the town's been doing so every ten years since the 1600s. The play was started as a celebration that that town was spared by the bubonic plague. There is a museum in town that shows the history of the play and how it has evolved over the years. It is now a modern, spectacular production that can rival any Broadway show, and the history keeps this large production intimate.
Our tour group had some of the best seats in the house, only five or six rows from the front, and center. The music was haunting and beautiful. The play was not in English, but it's easy enough to follow. Just remember to dress warm because it gets cold in the evenings, even in the summer.
I will remember this trip forever (Germany and Austria are beautiful countries), but especially the visit to this little town tucked away in the mountains. The picture below shows the exquisite murals painted on many of the buildings. Another nice little anecdote is that my wife's grandparents saw the Oberammergau passion play twenty years earlier (in the summer of 1990), which later led to great conversation. I hope I have the opportunity to go back in a decade or two.
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