Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place in Oberammergau.
The tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, of putting on the play about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every ten years, will be continued for the 42nd 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.
A special law is in effect to insure that all actors of the world's largest amateur dramatic performance come from the village. 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 lived there for at least 20 years. Over 2,000 Oberammergau villagers will participate in the 2020 Passion Play. Looking for a once in a lifetime experience? This just might be it!
Day 1: Friday, August 21, 2020 - Overnight Flight Set out to experience Switzerland, Austria, Bavaria and the Oberammergau Passion Play.
Day 2: Saturday, August 22, 2020 Bern, Switzerland - Tour Begins Your tour opens in Bern, the capital of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage site nestled in the Swiss countryside. The cobbled Old Town section is so well preserved that residents who lived here 500 years ago would still find it familiar today. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring local cuisine such as traditional cheese fondue. (D)
Day 3: Sunday, August 23, 2020 Bern - Explore Bern on a panoramic sightseeing tour featuring the Bundeshaus (the Swiss Parliament), the Bear Pit, the Rose Gardens and the Gothic cathedral which dominates Old Town’s skyline. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore independently. Perhaps you will take the funicular ride up Gurten Mountain which affords beautiful views of Bern. (B)
Day 4: Monday, August 24, 2020 Bern - Château de Chillon - Montreux - Gstaad - Bern - Travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to the legendary, medieval Château de Chillon. This princely residence faces the lake but puts forth the image of an imposing fortress from the mountains. Later, enjoy inspiring Alpine views with a ride on the GoldenPass Panoramic Train from Montreux to Gstaad. Discover the delightful ambience of this world-famous Alpine ski resort with its numerous traditional wood chalets. This evening’s dinner is included at one of Bern’s great restaurants. (B, D)
Day 5: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Bern - Lucerne - Innsbruck, Austria - Set out for Lucerne, the “Swiss Paradise on the Lake.” Enjoy a leisurely paced Altstadt (Old Town) walking tour, and discover the hidden treasures of the city. Lucerne has more than 800 years of history. Explore such medieval treasures as the covered Chapel Bridge (1833); the famous Water Tower which has served as a prison, watchtower and treasury; the Renaissance-style Town Hall; the Baroque Jesuit Church; and the Lion Monument, carved from natural rock to commemorate the heroic Swiss Guard. En route to Innsbruck we make our way through Liechtenstein, the smallest and richest German-speaking country in the world and the only country to lie entirely within the Alps. (B)
Day 6: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 Innsbruck - This morning, it’s your choice! Choose one of two leisurely walking tours: join a local guide as you discover the city’s history, culture and popular attractions including Maria Theresien Strasse, the Hofburg and the Golden Roof; or, you may embark on a tour focusing on Innsbruck’s unique architectural structures including its famous ski jump. (B)
Day 7: Thursday, August 27, 2020 Innsbruck - Salzburg - Innsbruck - Travel through the picturesque Austrian countryside to Salzburg. Upon arrival, enjoy a leisurely pacedwalking tour featuring Mirabell Gardens (seen in The Sound of Music); the quaint Getreidegasse (birthplace of Mozart); and many other highlights of this beautiful city. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to independently explore and enjoy Salzburg’s fabulous sights. Complete your day with a delightful dinner at the 1,200-year-old St. Peter’s Restaurant, the oldest in Austria and still owned by the monks. (B, D)
Day 8: Friday, August 28, 2020 Innsbruck - Oberammergau, Germany - Passion Play - Cross the border into Bavaria, Germany to the quaint village of Oberammergau. This afternoon, witness a performance of the epic Passion Play. The original performance dates back to 1634. During the Thirty Year War, Oberammergau was spared the Black Plague and for this reason, the citizens vowed that every ten years they would give a play to honor the last days of the life of Christ. The performers of this once-in-a-decade event are all native to the village. To lend authenticity to the performance, the cast starts to grow their hair and beards more than a year in advance.During a break of the performance, join your fellow travelers for dinner before returning for the remainder of your Passion Play performance. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Saturday, August 29, 2020 Oberammergau - Linderhof Palace - Fussen - Munich - Begin your day with a visit to Linderhof Palace, one of the most artistic and stylistically complex ensembles of the 19th century. It is the only palace King Ludwig II of Bavaria was able to complete. Behind the Baroque façade is a Rococo world, rich in abundant ornamentation, with many sculptural elements showing workmanship of an incomparable artistic quality. Next, enjoy free time to explore medieval Fussen, the romantic town in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Make a special picture stop at Neuschwanstein Castle before gathering for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a memorable trip. (B, D)
Day 10: Sunday, August 30, 2020 Munich - Tour Ends - Your tour comes to a close today. (B)
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