Jesus before Pilate © Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

A play of life and death, promised in a moment of mortal threat – so the history of the Oberammergau Passion Play began in 1633. In the middle of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and death from the plague, the Oberammergauers swore an oath that they would perform the ‘Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ every ten years. At Pentecost 1634, they fulfilled their pledge for the first time on a stage they put up in the cemetery above the fresh graves of the plague victims.

Crucifixion © Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

Maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, the tradition of performing the play about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every ten years will be continued for the 42 nd time in 2020 and is regarded as the most important passion play in the world. The village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps expects approximately 500,000 visitors for the passion play, over half of which will be international guests.

Hotel Post, Oberammergau © Stephan de Paly

All actors of the world‘s largest amateur dramatic performance come from the village, due to a special play law. All participants, from actors playing the big speaking parts such as Jesus, Mary or Judas, through members of the choir, orchestra members, firemen and ushers, must have been born in Oberammergau or have been living there for at least 20 years.

Kiss of Judas © Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

The previous Passion Play took place in 2010. Over 2,000 participants brought the story of Jesus of Nazareth to the ears and eyes of the audience in a five-hour presentation on the impressive open-air stage (spectators sit inside the theatre). Almost half of the inhabitants of Oberammergau enacted with great devotion the story of Jesus whose message gives hope and strength to billions of people. The play covers the period of Jesus entering Jerusalem and continues up to his death on the cross and his resurrection. The new production, under the direction of Christian Stückl and the artistic team of the Passion Play in 2000, the stage designer Stefan Hageneier and the music directors Markus Zwink and Michael Bocklet reflected the tremendous community achievement.

Passion Play Theatre at Night © Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

For ten months the villagers playing the roles of Jesus, Mary, Pontius Pilate and the apostles, of the children, soldiers and priests rehearsed the newly revised text whilst the orchestra and the singers practiced the exceptional music created for the performance by the composer Rochus Dedler.

The Last Supper © Passion Play Oberammergau 2020

Join one of Special Travel International’s 2020 Oberammergau tours featuring the Oberammergau Passion Play.

Culture & History of Jordan, Israel and Oberammergau Passion Play (May 13 to 27, 2020):

The Scenic Austrian Alps and Oberammergau Passion Play (September 11 to 25, 2020):

*** Book soon as places are limited ***