With the stunning UNESCO World Heritage natural beauty of Hallstatt, the Sound of Music city of Salzburg, the heady beauty of the Hohe Tauern National Park, Kaiser Franz Josef's Imperial summer villa and picturesque St Wolfgang, the splendour of this region makes a wonderful prelude to the Oberammergau Passion Play.
Prepare to be enchanted by crystal-clear lakes from which you can drink, impressive mountain scenery, and the heady scent of emerald green forests. If you are searching for an experience with extraordinary surroundings and a wealth of cultural gems, look no further. An exquisite Mozart concert and dinner in the heart of Salzburg's old town is also included to make this once-in-a-decade holiday memorable.
From the calibre and location of the friendly family-run four-star hotel to the excellence of the included excursions and little touches including a lake cruise, scenic horse and carriage ride, coffee and cake, a drink and tea or coffee with all meals in Austria and a traditional Austrian folklore display, this holiday has it all.
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.