Today at the first Cristmas Day 2015 Luck Duck Sheila went to Oberammergau, Germany, Bavaria.
Here She sits in front of the “Passionsspieltheater” Oberammergau on a fountain.
Luck Duck Sheila inside of the “Passionsspieltheater”.
She visited another tourist highlight. Oberammergau is famous for the longest and oldest ongoing Christian Passion Play. It started with an oath in 1633 when the villagers in a time when they were suffering from the black plague swore to put a theater play on stage every ten years which deals with the last days of Crist’s live if the plague would end. “Passionsspiel” Those plays were popular at that time. And from that day on nowbody died from the black plague according to the story. So it was first staged in 1634. During the following centuries it was staged every ten years exept for two times when it was forbidden by the ruling sovereigns twice or at least postponed. It was canceled in 1940 too since world war two was going on. At some point in history the performance was shifted to the full decade so the next event will be in 2020. About 500.00 spectators saw the play in 2010 which last for about 5 1/2 hours with a break. It was performed about 100 days. The play is well known all over the world and over the years had many famous spectators. f.e. Henry Ford 1930, Africa explorer Richard F. Burton 1880 who was pushed to go there by his pious wife after he draged her through an exhausting Africa exploration (he wrote a book about the adventure in „Oberammergau“, „A Glance at the Passion Play“ ), Adolf Hitler 1934, King Ludwig II 1871 (special performance), cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedikt XVI) 1980 and many top politicians such as Konrad Adenauer 1950 or D. D. Eisenhower 1950 or Angela Merkel 2010 .
There is an application to have the play enrolled as a UNESCO world cultural heritage.
There is a small museum you can visit when no theater ist going on.
No married women were allowed on stage during the Passionsspiele until the village was sued before 1984 by three women who won. So from 1984 on when the 350 year jubilee play was staged (jubilee play’s are staged every 50 years calculated form 1634) married women are allowed on stage. For those chauvinists among you, there is a little consolation, there is still a purely male enclosure in Oberamergau: To celebrate King Ludwig the II’nd birthday (25 ‘th of August) a purely male group lights fires the evening before on the mountains around Oberammergau which form a crown (the bavarian Wittelsbacher kings never wore a crown, though that had Access to one), a cross on the northern sheer slope of the iconic “Kofel” Mountain and an L II on the other side of the valley. King Ludwig the II. (sometimes also called King Ludwig the Mad, a cousin of former Empress from Austria “Sissy” ) is liked in the area as his popular castles are close by and bring in some turnover until today and he brought work and income into the valley when he was still alive (before his mysterious death 1886 in the Starnberger See called Würmsee at that time).
The “Passionstheater” these days is also used for other cultural events: today, 30.06.2017 is the first night of opera “Der Fliegende Holländer” (The Flying Dutchman) a creation of Richard Wagner, good friend of King Ludwig II. who he also met in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich.
Here Luck Duck Sheila sits on the street in Front of the “Pilatus Haus” (a typical old house with a typical painted decoration “Lüftlmalerei”, here scenes from Crist’s trial in front of Pilatus, the roman governer in Jerusalem ) .
In the background you can see the north wall of iconic “Kofel” Mountain which rises about 500 m above the village. The “Kofel” mountain was victim in a crime in the late 1980’s when it was abducted and displaced into the “Schwarzwald” (Black Forest) by the ZDF (German TV company) and put next to the “Schwarzwaldklinik” (ledgendary TV produktion sold to 38 countries. The ZDF confessed, apologized and compensated by performing and broadcasting one of their legendary “Sonntagskonzerte” (with lots of leather trousers, bavarian costumes and brass music) in Oberammergau which wasa good and cheap advertisment for Oberammergau.
I just watched a repetition of some episodes of the old TV series and as they did not show the final credits after each series I had to watch for 3 hours but in the end I could get a Picture, for you, the dear visitors, of the final credits together with Sheila.
Famous Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke (Field Marshal General) visited Oberammergau 1880 to watch the Passion Play and stayed in this house. He together with Reichskanzler Bismark smithed the second German empire.
Oberammergau also provides a good source for a Black Fores Cake. In the coffee shop “Café Hohenleitner” the son of the family and Vice Junior World Champion 2012 (Sao Paulo, Brasil) of confectioners produces a great selection of confectioneries. Sheila of cause had to give it a thoroughly check. Hohenleitner
Oberammergau is well known for it’s history of wood-carving. Wood carving business unfortunatly goes down these days as people today are more interested in Flat Screen TV and BMW cars then in old and expensive craft work, whereas woodcarvings in the old days used to be popular presents for weddings f.e. And even bishops must be careful how they spent their money today.
Lyrics from a well know folk song: “Heut kommt der Hans zu mir” (today Hans is coming to me) “freut sich die Lies” (Elizabeth, probalby Hans’ girlfriend is happy) “ob er aber über Oberammergau, oder aber über Unterammergau, oder aber überhaupt nicht kommt, des is net gwieß” (if he comes through Oberammergau or through neighbouring Unterammergau or not at all is not sure.
Here you can see a typical wood carved Nativity Scene with the holy family, the shepards, the wise men or kings form the Orient, sheeps, an ox, a dunkey and a Duck.
Marry Cristmas and a Hapy New Year from Luck Duck Sheila.
Update: Yesterday 30.06.2017 Sheila attended a performance of Richard Wagner’s opera “Der Fliegende Holländer” (The Flying Dutchman). During the break I took this picture of the sunset which was almost as dramatic as the impressive opera itselve. The opera was great with big crowds of singers and actors on stage, great orchestra, solo singers and Sheila left the theater with tears in her eyes after Standing Ovations after a cool evening.
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