The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. In the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and dying from the plague, the people of Oberammergau pledged to act out the »play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ« once every 10 years.
At Whitsun in 1634, they fulfilled their promise for the first time. By the middle of the 18th century, spectators from all over Germany came to Oberammergau attracted by the great power and atmosphere of the play. 2020 will see the 42nd instalment of the play that the citizens of Oberammergau have maintained through the centuries with unique continuity.
In a five-hour-performance, more than 2000 participants bring the story of Jesus of Nazareth to the impressive open-air stage of the Passion Play Theatre. Almost half of Oberammergau’s population will devotedly act out the story of the man whose tidings for more than 2000 years have brought hope and power of life to an incredible number of people.
They will play it from his entry into Jerusalem until his death at the cross and his resurrection.
All this against the backdrop of the words of the evangelist Luke at the end of his description of the tale of suffering: “And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.” (Lk 23,48)
The choir performs in the Passion Play Theatre
Jesus is praying in the temple
The Last Supper
The Passion Play Theatre at night
The condemnation by Pilate
Jesus on the Cross
Moses leads the Israelites through the Red Sea
The Ten Commandments and the Dance around the Golden Calf
The Feast of Passover before the Exodus from Egypt
God calls Moses from the Burning Bush
The Violent Attack at the High Place of Gibeon
The Prophet Daniel in the Lion's Den
Job in Misery
Moses is Cast out by the Pharao
Joseph is Celebrated as the Saviour of Egypt
Isaac carries Wood up Mount Moriah
Looking upon the Fiery Serpent