Oberamergau in southern Germany is best known for its every 10 year Passion Play, its colorfully painted houses, and it’s wood carvings.
The passion play has been continuously performed since 1634. The town vowed to God that if they were spared from the bubonic plague, they would put on a passion play every ten years-clearly their prayers were answered. Today, over 2000 townsfolk-half the population-take part in the mega production.
The Bavarian Woodcarving school is also located in town, and as a result numerous stores carrying a large variety of sacred and secular wood carved objects can be found. Not to mention stores carrying cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and miscellaneous other trinkets.
The frescoed houses, or “Luftmalerei” ( literal translation is air paintings), also depict a variety of religious and secular themes. The one in the photo, a Gasthouse or Guesthouse, has painted on its front a scene of revelers enjoying food and drink, making it very clear what the purpose of this building is. This type of building decoration is believed to have started in the mid to late 1700’s in Oberamergau and is now typical in the region.
Finally, a 20th century fact of note-the town also has a NATO school which was started in 1953, and which offers classes to Alliance members on NATO’s operations, policies, etc.
Quite a lot going on for a small town in Bavarian Germany.
Thanks for visiting.