Passione di Cristo a Oberammergau (Passionsspiele)

Passion of Christ in Oberammergau (Passionsspiele)


This special performance of the Passion of Christ takes place every 10 years in the small village of Oberammergau, located in Bavaria. This tradition began with a beautiful act of faith, a promise made in 1633, and with the first performance in 1634, and continues to this day, with a lot of dedication from collaborators and artists. The curious thing is that, in fact, these are local residents, who spend years rehearsing and doing what is necessary to put on the show. This includes growing your hair and beard!

During the 30 Years' War the village was devastated by the bubonic plague. In this situation, the residents made the following promise to God: If He protected them from plague and death, they would make a piece that represented the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Reports state that after the promise there were no more deaths from plague in the village and residents who were sick during this period were cured.

Incredible recording of the play in 1871. Oberammergau, “Passionsspiele”. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Joseph Albert

Since then, the residents of Oberammergau have been involved in the performance of the Passion of Christ periodically, which has occurred every 10 years. In the city, there is a venue designated for the event, with capacity for approximately 5000 spectators. Although the language of the performance is German, people from all over the world come to Oberammergau to watch the Passion of the Christ, which has already become a local tradition and cultural heritage. The Passion Theater in Oberammergau (Passionsspiele) starts in May and runs until October, with performances 5 days a week. The soundtrack for the play was composed by Rochus Dedler and is conducted by an orchestra of 60 musicians and a choir. In this context, we can see that everything is done to ensure that there is a faithful representation of the events recorded in the Bible.

Photo from the most recent performance, in 2010. Oberammergau, “Passionsspiele”. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Andreas Praefcke

Travelers who go to Oberammergau, in the middle of the Alps in southern Germany, will be impressed only by the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ (Passion play), just as you will be enchanted by this small and beautiful city! The village of Oberammergau is known for the beautiful frescoes on the facades of the houses and its wooden sculptures.


The 42nd season of the play would take place this year (2020), but unfortunately it was postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), in order not to put residents, artists, collaborators and visitors at risk.