From the towering Alps to the fertile Danube plain, the Free State of Bavaria is a place that lives up to its clich?d reputation. Storybook castles built by a king obsessed by the composer Wagner poke through dark forests, cowbells tinkle in flower-filled meadows and citizens in medieval walled towns go about their business as they always have done.
Munich's main sights include the Marienplatz with the Town Hall clock-tower figure play, the Maximilianstrasse and the Viktualienmarkt with its array of local food stalls and the famous royal brewery the Hofbrauhaus. The citys broad, leafy boulevards lined with imposing, palatial buildings and public parks including the famous English Garden are just a short stroll from your hotel. This also means some evening meals will be in traditional local restaurants.
Enjoy a day in medieval Nuremburg and the home of the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Durer. Also, visits to three palaces from Bavarian Kings of the House of Wittelsbach whose splendid castles, palaces and seats of government have come to symbolise the image of Bavaria all around the world!
Oberammergau in Bavaria is known throughout the world for its Passion Play, which has been performed every ten years since 1634. The next production will take place in 2020. It is a formidable joint effort by the whole village. For the 2020 production planning will begin in February 2019, when the residents of Oberammergau will grow their hair long and men will stop trimming their beards. Those wishing to play lead roles such as Jesus or Mary will defer marriage, to conform to the casting traditions which are still upheld today.
In April 2019 the actors will be announced and at the beginning of November more than 2,000 residents, chosen to take the parts of Jesus, Mary, Caiaphas, Pilate, Judas, John, the priests and soldiers, the people of Jerusalem and the 470 children who participate in the Play - will work on their scenes with the director. Under the musical director, 120 choir members and the 70 members of the Passion Play orchestra will practise and polish the musical compositions of the composer, Rochus Dedler of Oberammergau. Many visitors are astonished by the powerful role that music plays within the performance. Almost a third of the five-and-a-half hour performance is taken up by musical compositions, almost equivalent to a complete oratorio.
This meticulous preparation over 12 months is carried out in order to accomplish what the Evangelist Luke described at the end of his narration of the Passion of Christ: When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their chests and went away.