Oberammergau is located in a valley in the Bavarian Alps, Germany. It is known for its theater productions. This town hosts The Passion Play performance in the Passion Play Theater, held once every ten years for over 400 years. This play is particularly popular because about half of the settlers take part in it, and thousands of visitors witness it. The scenic small town on the Ammer River is also home to woodcarvers. The culture of wood-carving has been ever prevalent owing to the Bavarian State Woodcarving School. The streets in central Oberammergau host dozens of woodcarver shops, with carvings varying from religious displays, to toys, to comical portraits.
Oberammergau is a quintessential mountain town and is a hub of regional tourism. It is also famous for frescoes that influence Bavarian themes, fairy tales, religious events, and architectural elements. Frescoes are mainly renowned in upper Bavaria, and its name dawned from an Oberammergau house called Zum Lüftl. It was home to the famous façade painter Franz Seraph Zwinck.
Oberammergau is a picturesque mountain town and offers the vibes and adventures of an international hotspot. Along with being rich in history and culture, the village streets and scenery are ideal tourist spots.
The next time you visit Germany, add Oberammergau to your travel list. Here are the 10 best things to do when you visit this scenic and culture-rich town.
10. Ghost Bikepark Oberammergau
The amusement park in Oberammergau, Ghost Bikepark, offers perfect trails if you love biking. If you like the outdoors and want to have a great time riding your bike, this is the place. You can retire after a tiring and fulfilling day at the café and bar. This place also has shops that have a variety of biking needs if you go there unequipped.
Schleifmühlklamm is a scenic spot in Oberammergau ideal for hiking or a bath in the waterfalls. It’s a classic place if you want to escape from the crowd and spend moments of reflection and peace. You can explore the gorge on paths and listen to the sound of the stream. The hike starts from Unterammergau, and you will witness several waterfalls on the way. It is incredibly gorgeous in Spring and Fall as the leaves’ color is at their best during this time.
8. Reptilienhaus Oberammergau
Oberammergau isn’t only known for its scenic beauty, outdoor fun, culture, or architect. Take your family out for a perfect trip at the Reptilienhaus. It is a house of reptiles, the haven of the unloved. The exhibition areas have lizards, snakes, poison dart frogs, turtles, and spiders, amongst many others.
As a tourist, you can adore the beauty and diversity of exotic wildlife. If you are a KönigsCard Holder, you can get one daily free entry. You can get there by train, car, foot or bike.
7.Steckenberg – Unterammergau
The ski resort in Unterammergau is one place you cannot miss if you ever visit Oberammergau. The Bavarian ski resort is at the height of 8501m to 1000m. It envelops the ski area in Steckenberg and offers easy pistes and free rides with some kilometers. You can also trek along the Pulvermoosweg trail along the Ammer if you aren’t really up for skiing.
Cross-country skiing on the Scherenauer loop road is also a viable option. If you enjoy running, the Pürschling toboggan run takes about two hours to reach the starting point. The 5.5 km long way down run is both stunning and enthralling.
6. St. Peter & Paul Church
The Oberammergau Parish church was formerly a wooden building in the early 18 century. It became damaged to the extent that it needed to rebuild. Joseph Schmuzer began with the formation of the rococo jewel while his son Franz Xaver became the plasterer. Matthew Guenther, born in 1705, made the ceiling and wall frescoes.
St. Peter and Paul church is an architectural spectacle you cannot miss in Oberammergau. The church has one prime altar and four side altars. The main altar displays the Mother of God and is richly adorned with several stucco work and sculptures.
The two side altars portray the Trinity and Christ on the Cross themes. The rest of the altars in the side extensions are devoted to the Holy Family and St. Anthony of Padua. The church also covers late Baroque art depicting the Passion of Christ and the namesakers Peter and Paul. The gorgeous frescoes display the rosary presented to St. Dominic, while one wall shows Mary receiving the angel’s salute.
The balustrade parapets and gallery ceiling are furnished with Frescoes by Franz Seraph Zwinck. The church choir unfailingly rehearses at 8 pm every Thursday, and visitors are always welcome to witness it.
Pilatushaus, or the House of Pontius Pilate, dwells in the heart of Oberammergau and signifies arts and crafts. The House is adorned with several fresco paintings. Most of the frescoes were created in 1784 by Bavaria’s famous painter Franz Seraph Zwinck.
The front garden is painted with the condemnation of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, lending the House its name. This House was almost torn down for parking space in 1981. But, Annelies Buchwieser, the monument protector, along with media and radio, could save it from demolition.
The living work studio hosts varied craftsmanship, while the handicraft shop contains all the artwork created by the members in the work studio. The first floor exhibits one of the world’s most extensive array of glass paintings. Add the Pilatushaus visit along with the Oberammergau Museum to satiate your art and culture exploration.
Laber is the ski resort in Oberammergau. This resort is nestled in the Ammergauer Alpen Holiday Region. It boasts 4km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The Alps’ beautiful mountain offers hiking, panoramic views of the landscape, a restaurant, and the ever-popular cable car.
This cable car extends up to the height of 1684 m from the Oberammergau district, St. Gregor. Slow down as you enjoy a ride on the Laber cable car. Let the panoramic view of the mountains and the lakes restore your mind, soul, and body. On a good day, you could even see beyond Munich. After a good joy ride, you can take a gastronomical treat at the restaurant while enjoying the spectacular views of the mountains.
3. Ettal Abbey
The Benedictine abbey in the village of Ettal close to Oberammergau goes by the name of Ettal Abbey. Extensive castle-like grounds encircle the monastery. It is a result of long historical evolution, and the Duke of Bavaria founded it in 1330. The emperor graced the monastery by presenting a marble statue of the Ettal Madonna on the church’s high altar.
The abbey is a self-sufficient religious community that offers everything needed for life. It conducts workshops and projects within the community’s confines. The monks produce and earn all on their own through the brewery, liqueur making, hotel, and publishing house. These projects help to maintain and keep up the infrastructure of the buildings.
2. Oberammergau Tourism Museum
If history and culture entice you, Bavaria is the place. The Oberammergau Museum opened in 1910. It is one of the oldest of its kind and has preserved its authenticity. This museum boasts of the rich cultural history of Bavaria. As revealed earlier, wood carving is prevalent in the town, and it has been going on for over 500 years. The museum displays exquisite artworks and handcrafted items from the 17th century to as new as contemporary designs.
You will also find vibrantly painted toys, figurines of saints, crucifixes, and modern sculptures expressing the region’s craftsmanship. The museum also exhibits items from the Oberammergau Reverse Glass Painting Collection.
Oberammergau is known all over the world for its once-in-a-decade Passion Play Theater. It has amassed visitors from all places far and wide and has gained significance in Oberammergau Tourism. This little town is a scenic and charming home and is the ideal stop for people who enjoy an outdoor experience on their vacation. You can take a train or a car from Munich to reach this stunning town in an hour. It is a perfect place to visit if you don’t intend to stay overnight but make the day worthwhile. You can enjoy the view by strolling or riding on a bicycle. There is always the local bus if you find walking difficult.
Mountain cable cars are many, but the one in Kreislainenweg, Oberammergau offers much more than a 2-person chairlift. It runs throughout the year with a ski area and a homely mountain lodge with a restaurant in the vicinity. This scenic place has the Kolbensattel resort amidst the panoramic mountains. The best time to go to this place is during winter. You can enjoy skiing in the snowcapped mountains and stay at the ski resort. The restaurant offers cuisines both native to the area and a lot more.
However, the one thing popular about this place is the mountain cable, which extends to 850m giving you an aerial view of the scenic mountains. The chairlift can carry two persons at a time. If you want to spend a quiet time with your partner at home away from home, this is the place. It offers a rustic appeal and cozy setting where you can enjoy your vacation yet feel homely and relax.