Welcome to Oberammergau

Bavaria is known not only for its breathtaking mountain scenery, beautiful lakes and picturesque towns and villages but also for its rich cultural landscape. In 2022, Oberammergau and the Zugspitze region will be hosting the Germany Travel Mart. This will be the first time that the event has been held in a rural setting, and the area offers all of Bavaria’s hallmark features.

Ornately painted façades immediately catch the eye of anyone strolling along the streets of Oberammergau. These stunning murals, referred to locally as ‘Lüftlmalerei’, can be found on many house fronts, such as that of the Pilatushaus (House of Pontius Pilate) in the town centre. Artisan craftwork has a long tradition in the town. In the shop windows, woodcarvers – who in these parts also go by the name of ‘Herrgottschnitzer’ (literally: ‘god’s carvers’, i.e. carvers of religious sculptures) – display their handiwork.

Most of the time, Oberammergau seems like a pleasant, tranquil place. But every ten years, it steps into the limelight to stage its internationally renowned Passion Play. This event, which has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status, attracts around 450,000 visitors from every corner of the globe.

The Passion Play Theatre is one of the world’s biggest open air stages with a covered auditorium. It is protected by a preservation order and can accommodate almost 4,500 spectators – that’s a lot for a town of just around 5,500 residents.

The Passion Play dates back to 1633, when the bubonic plague was ravaging Europe. In their desperation, the people of Oberammergau pledged to God that if he spared those still alive in the village, they would perform the Passion of Christ every 10th year forever after. And for nearly 400 years now, they have honoured this pledge. Around 2,400 people are involved in staging the five-hour performance of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Based on the usual ten-year interval, the 42nd Passion Play should have taken place in 2020. But the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic meant that the event had to be postponed by two years. For the 2022 Passion Play, 103 performances are scheduled.

Oberammergau is also a perfect starting point if you want to learn more about the reign of King Ludwig II. Linderhof Palace – the only one of the three majestic castles and palaces commissioned by Ludwig II to be completed within his lifetime and used by him as a residence – is just a few kilometres away. Neuschwanstein Castle is also within easy reach.

Venturing beyond Oberammergau, tourism experts, travel buyers and media representatives flocking to the Germany Travel Mart can also enjoy the nation’s most panoramic ‘roof deck’ – the peak of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, which rises to 2,962 metres above sea level. Up here, at eye level with the golden summit cross, visitors will have the unique opportunity to participate in networking events while enjoying 360° panoramic views of more than 400 peaks in surrounding Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

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