Once upon a time in 1634, there was a plague. A plague so bad it was threatening to wipe out the little town of Oberammergau, about 60 miles outside of Münich. The villagers prayed and prayed for a miracle to save their little town, and then someone had a bright idea: if God spared them, they would thank Him by performing a play about the teachings and life of His Son, Jesus. And He did. And they did. And every decade since then, without fail, Oberammergau has put on the Passion Play to thank God for showing them mercy. I think this makes the Passion Play the longest-running off-off-Broadway show of all time. Godspell, eat your heart out!
It’s almost time for this once-a-decade opportunity! The Oberammergau Passion Play will be performed for the first time since 2000 next Summer, in 2010.
The show is spectacular, with a cast – literally – of thousands, and an audience of almost a half a million. So though it doesn’t start until May, 2010, if you’re going, get your tickets early, because it sells out each and every year.
The Passion Play is five hours long, and starts with Jesus already in full form as a preacher and teacher, coming into Jerusalem, and tells the story through His resurrection. Now, five hours is a long play (don’t worry, it’s broken up into two sections, one in the afternoon and one in the evening) but it makes for a short visit. So what’s a tourist on a pilgrimage to do? That depends on what religious denomination you are. If you are Catholic, you might check out this tour, Grand Catholic Italy, which will take you through Italy and Austria on your way into Münich. If you’re Protestant, consider The European Reformation, where you can follow the life of Luther across Switzerland and Germany (including a Rhine Cruise!) before seeing the Passion Play. There are several other trips available to suit your own tastes, including one that takes you through Prague and Vienna and several other European cities on a non-denominational tour. Call Spirit Quest Tours at 877-406-5206 for more info, and have fun exploring your passions in Europe next summer! After all, you don’t want to wait until 2020 to go on this vacation!