The Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

Work has already started on this unique once in a decade event. Here’s some background and who is running tours to see this world famous production

The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634 and it is the result of a vow made by the inhabitants of the village that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague then sweeping the region they would perform a passion play every ten years.

A man travelling back to the town for Christmas had accidentally brought the plague with him. The man died from the plague and it began spreading throughout Oberammergau. After the vow was made, not another inhabitant of the town died from the bubonic plague and all of the town members that were still suffering from the plague recovered.

The play is now performed in years ending with a zero, as well as in 1934 which was the 300th anniversary and 1984 which was the 350th anniversary (though the 1940 performance was cancelled due to the onset of the Second World War in 1939). It involves over 2000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all residents of the village.

Petra Hedorfer, chair of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) commented “The 2020 Passion Play will have a completely new appearance. In a great community effort starting in Autumn, new costumes and set designs designed by Stefan Hageneier will be made. What is more, 120 new choir members and the 70-member-passion orchestra must be re-cast in the course of the next few weeks under the supervision of music director Markus Zwink.

Did you know? Only those who were born and raised in Oberammergau or who have been living in the village for at least 20 years may take part in the Passion Play. One highlight leading up to the passion for every citizen of Oberammergau is the great church service on the large open-air stage of the Passion Theatre on 20th October of this year. The pledge of 1633 will be renewed and the actors of the 42nd Passion Play will be publicly announced and introduced.

This is an unmissable event and packages are already being sold by UK tour operators for the Passion Play in 2020. Here is a list of operators who are offering trips.

List of Tour Operators
  • Collette Worldwide Holidays
  • Consort Travel
  • Harry Shaw’s Holidays
  • Insight Vacations Ltd
  • Sovereign Tourism
  • Special Pilgrimages Christian Tours
  • Titan Travel Ltd.
  • Travelsphere Ltd
  • Leger Holidays
  • The Travel Corporation
  • The Cultural Travel Company
  • Operation Europe
  • Albatross Group
  • Select Travel Service
  • Fred Holidays
  • Tailored Travel
  • McCabe Pilgrimages
  • Norman Allen Group Travel
  • Battered Suitcase
  • McCabe Pilgrimages
  • Travel Without Borders
  • Great Rail Journeys
  • Martin Randall Travel