Oberammergau Live Cam

World famous as the venue for the Passion Play

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A beautiful town in the Bavarian Alps

Beginning of settlement in the Ammer valley probably during the era of the Celts. The existence of Roman road between Augsburg (capital of the province) and Rome which ran through the Ammer Valley is possible. First mention of the name "Ammergau" at the end of the nineth century. First sign of carving handicraft in the Ammer Valley at the beginning of the twelfth century. Foundation of theCloister Ettal by Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330.

The Rottstrasse from Italy to Augsburg into the Ammer valley was built around the same time and was connected to the settlement right of the Oberammergau inhabitants that led to a blossoming of the village far into the seventeenth century. Although the village was shielded, the plague reached Oberammergau in 1632. After many inhabitants had fallen victim to the epidemic, the villagers vowed a regular performance of the Passion Play in October 1633. Following the vow, no further villager fell victim to the disease. In spring of 1634, the vow was kept for the first time with a performance of the Passion Play.

The eighteenth century marks the peak of the so-called Lüftlmalerei (wall-painting). In 1748, Franz Seraph Zwink was born in Oberammergau where he later created some of his most important works of art. The numerous facades designed by him in the village and its surroundings portray the mastery of an outstanding representative of this stylistic trend. In the year 1871, a special performance of the Passion Play was produced in honour of King Ludwigs II. The king was so filled with enthusiam, that he made the village a present of a monumental marble cruxifixion group. In 1879, the construction of the Palace Linderhof was completed in the king´s day, the only king´s palace to have been completed in his lifetime. (More about Ludwig II.)

Wood Carvings - The roots of Oberammergau's wood carvings go back to the middle ages. A manuscript dated 1111 first mentioned Rottenbucher monks who brought "…the Ammergau art of carving small household goods out of wood..." to the area of Berchtesgaden. The carving of religious figures most probably has its origins in the pilgrimage to Ettal.



In his travel report dated 1520, a Florentine traveller praises the fineness of the Oberammergau carvings. In 1563, the Ammergau carvers even received a Handicrafts Code of their own from the Abbot of Ettal. Although the carvings were sold mostly locally at that time, many distributing houses were set up in the 18th century with branches all over Europe. From these distributing houses, travelling salesmen, the so-called "Kraxenträger", took over selling the goods from doorstep to doorstep. Today there are about 120 wood sculptors in Oberammergau, actively carving and selling a large variety of wooden artefacts, from figures of saints to household goods. Furthermore, a Carvers School in town offers courses providing specialist training for wood carvers.

Those who are interested in finding out more about the formation of the artefacts before buying them should visit the "Pilatushaus". In the afternoon it is here that one can watch (see here!) the carvers at work and witness the "birth" of a wooden figure.

The subjects of the paintings are mostly of a religious character, particularly involving figures of saints as well as manifold scenes all around the Passion Play theme in Oberammergau. The painting technique is the so-called fresco technique, i.e. the water colours of a mineral basis are applied to wet freshly laid plaster. As the colours dry, they become a fixed layer of colour, insoluble to water. The necessity to work quickly in the fresh air (Luft), led to the belief that the term "Lüftlmalerei" is somehow connected to this particular method of painting. More convincing, however, is the story going back to Franz Seraph Zwinck (1748-1792), probably the most well-known craftsman of his guild. The story goes that he lived in a house called "Zum Lüftl" in Oberammergau (such house names can still be found there rather often) and because of his profession, was called "the Lüftlmaler" (the "Lüftl" painter). The name of the whole guild most probably developed from this name during the 19th century.

The said Franz Seraph Zwinck decorated a great many beautiful facades in Oberammergau and its area. The most prominent of them would be the "Forsthaus", the "Mußldomahaus" and, last but not least, the "Pilatushaus" with its ornate architectural fantasies.

Verre Églomisé Painting

Starting with the mid-18th century, art flourished in the upper region of Bavaria. Besides wood-carving and wall-painting, verre églomisé painting started developing in the Murnau and Oberammergau regions to become a craft intensively cultivated through centuries. Verre églomisé painting is a special technique, its peculiarity being based on a particular sequence of paint application. Because the picture is actually looked at from behind so to speak, the paint has to be applied in the opposite sequence which requires a great deal of imagination, especially when the pictures are multicoloured.

The development of this craft in the area became possible thanks to a long-standing glassworks in Grafenaschau in the "Murnauer Moos" area, supplying the painters with the necessary raw material. The rest was done by the distributors who, having been set up for the delivery of wood-carvings, enabled verre églomisé painting to become a lucrative trade. Some of the religious paintings, often called the "Ammergauer Taferl", were done in a "production line" at times, i.e. each craftsman only performed his own specific part of the work process. In spite of this however, the craftsmen also produced some highly artistic verre églomisé paintings, some of which can be found in the Oberammergau Museum of Local History, among them an illustration of the Bavarian royal family and a variety of allegoric images.

Other Craftsmen in Oberammergau

The current repertoire of crafts in Oberammergau consists of a wide range. Goldsmiths, blacksmiths, church painters, stonemasons, basket-makers, painters, stonemasons and potters also work here.

Handicrafts Close-up

Two places must be recommended to those who want to watch craftsmen at work in Oberammergau. First, the "Pilatushaus" with its "Lebende Werkstatt" (Live Workshop) where the visitors can watch different craftsmen at work. Besides wood-carvers and verre églomisé painters they can watch crib-builders, keg painters, potters and other craftsmen whose craft is a rarity today. The "Lebende Werkstatt" (Live Workshop) is open from May 20th to October 20th on working days from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The handicraft shop next to the workshop also offers the artefacts for sale. EAnother place to visit for a closer insight into the handicraft in Oberammergau is the Carvers School which is open for visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (except during holidays and examination sessions).

Oberammergau has a wide variety of shops to suit the needs of the holiday guests. Focusing mostly on the regional specialities such as wood-carvings and the "Trachten" (traditional clothes), there are also numerous gift and souvenir shops ready to fulfil any wish.

King Ludwig II. in Oberammergau:

In the year 1870, the entire village Oberammergau was busy preparing the Passion Play - just like every ten years. But when the war to France was just on the verge of breaking out, all the young men of the village were due to be drafted to the army. Following the plea of the Oberammergau citizens, King Ludwig II. obtained the exemption of the Oberammergau citizens so that the Passion Play could commence as usual. However, after 16 performances, France declared the state of war and the Passion Play had to be interrupted.

Following the peace treaty in the summer of 1871, the Play was continued. The king seized the opportunity and left the Palace Linderhof to come to Oberammergau and to witness the Passion Play with 4 companions (the theatre fits 1000 times the number of spectators). He was so touched by this experience that he invited all the main actors into his Palace and donated a huge marble crucifixion group. This was transported up the Ettaler Mountain in 1875 under an incredible amount of effort (two workers lost their lives) and can be admired on the village outskirts of Oberammergau.

On August 24th (the evening preceding Ludwig´s birthday), the young men of Oberammergau light large remembrance fires on the mountains surrounding Oberammergau in the form of a crown, an "L" and a cross among others in memory of the king, who was much loved in Ammergau.

How the plague came to Oberammergau:

At the time of the 30-year war, large strips of the landscape of the uplands were ravaged and plundered, so that epidemics and diseases were lurking everywhere. And it so happened that the plague arrived in the Werdenfelser Land in 1630 and many fell victim to it. Some villages even lost every living soul, in part because the inhabitants died and in part because they fled into the forests for fear of the epidemic.

Oberammergau however was spared the disease for a long time as plague watchers relentlessly cut off the entrance into the valley, so that life was nearly going its normal orderly way in Oberammergau when at the same time only two houses were yet occupied in Kohlgrub. However Kaspar Schisler, an Oberammergau citizen working as a labourer in Eschenlohe, was able to bypass the plague watchers on the church consecration festival in 1632. He reached his family unharmed and took part in the church consecration festivities with them. The festivities were however of short duration as Kaspar Schisler fell victim to the plague already on the Monday following church consecration.

In the following weeks and months death had a rich harvest in Oberammergau and if one is to believe the records, every tenth inhabitant of the village fell victim to the epidemic during one year. It was only the famous vow of the Oberammergau citizens to perform the Passion Play every ten years that brought an end to the dying in October of 1632.



The foundation of the Cloister Ettal (legend):

In the year 1327, King Ludwig the Bavarian was to move to Rome in order to be crowned the Roman Emperor. However, this plan was interconnected to a number of severe difficulties and consequently King Ludwig developed some doubts as to the success of his undertaking. When Ludwig sought the help of the Mother Mary in his distress, an old ice grey monk stepped through a locked door and faced him. He prophecied Ludwig the emperor´s crown and a worthy return to his home country, if he would vow the foundation of a cloister in honour of Mary at the "Ampferang". Upon Ludwig´s consent, the monk presented him with a marble statue with miraculous powers of the Mother Mary.

In the following era, Ludwig´s political and financial difficulties were solved so that he finally returned as the Roman Emperor in 1330. On his return journey he recalled his vow and had a hunter from Partenkirchen by the name of Fend show him the Ampferang (slope near the Ammer). When he arrived at this location, his horse dropped to its knees three time in front of a pine tree, whereupon the king ordered the building of a cloister "to our Ladies etal" on this spot, which was soon to dominate the entire Ammergau as the Cloister Ettal. Even today, one can see a fresco above the choir room in the cloister church portaying this legend.

Oberammergau - Unterammergau (The Altherrenweg)

Starting point: Oberammergau train station; final destination Ettal Cloister - Oberammergau can be reached by the train RB Murnau - Oberammergau as well as by the busses 1084 and 9606 from Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Cloister Ettal can be reached by the busses 1084 and 9606 from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberammergau respectively.

Duration of the hike approx. 3 hours - Low scale treading capability required - Possibilitites of stopping at an inn along the way: Gasthaus Romanshöhe, different restaurants and cafes in Oberammergau and Unterammergau.

Beginning at the Ammergauer Haus, you walk right along the Eugen-Papst-Strasse until you reach the Bahnhofstraße. Take a left in the direction of the train station and cross the Ammer. Keep right after the bridge and follow the river. Flower meadows accompany your hike and lead you to the nature reserve "Pulvermoos", a remnant of the Ammer glacier which filled the valley during the last ice age (until about 10,000 years ago). Shortly after the border of the village of Unterammergau, you cross the railway tracks of the Ammer Valley Railway. If you feel like a detour to the wildly romantic Schleifmühlenklamm (grinding mill crest) of about 40 minutes, go straight on in the direction of the church across the B23. Otherwise continue right along the road to the level grade crossing with barriers.

Following the railway, you turn right into the Weiherweg until you reach the border of the village and then follow the road in the direction of Romanshöhe (marked by a yellow triangle). You slowly make an ascent until you reach a beautiful viewpoint of the Ammer Valley and the surrounding meadows at the cross. After about 2 km you reach the Berggasthof Romanshöhe. After that you have the possibility of a direct descent to Oberammergau (30 minutes). Otherwhise, you follow the left turn-off ("Altherrenweg"), on which the road leads you through wonderful meadows and along shady ditches. Again and again you are rewarded with a view of Oberammergau with the Laber (left) and the Kofel (right). You follow the Altherrenweg until you reach the Gregorikapelle (chapel) (built in 1765 for the protection of the village from the devastating floods of the Laine) and continue following the Laine in the direction of the village. Cross the St. Lukasstraße and the Dorfstraße and then reach the Eugen-Papst-Straße. From here you take a left and reach the Ammergauer Haus after 200 metres.

Oberammergau - Ettal (The Vogelherdweg)

Starting point: Oberammergau railway station, final destination Ettal Cloister. Oberammergau can be reached by the train RB Murnau - Oberammergau as well as by the busses 1084 and 9606 from Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Cloister Ettal can be reached by the busses 1084 and 9606 from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberammergau respectively. Duration of the hike approx. 1.5 hours. Low scale treading capability required. Possibility of stopping at an inn along the way: none, only Oberammergau and Ettal.

Starting point of the hike is the Ammergauer Haus; from where you head off to your left (always up the Ammer) and always keep to the village siding shore. At the tight spot between the Laber and the Kofel you can see the bear cave on your left (with a figurine of Christ), a little path leading up to it. Further along the Ammer, until a track turns off in the direction of "Vogelherd" on your left. You cross the federal road (careful!) and slightly ascent to your right in the forest. After about 10 minutes you reach the forestry track leading you through varied mountain forest. At a fork in the road you chose the descent and immediately ascent to your left ("foot track Ettal"). Following a left bend you will find a wonderful view of the Cloister Ettal. You continue on the ascent track until you reach the path in the direction of Ettaler Mandl. From here you turn right and descent along the track to the cloister. Passing the brewery, you follow the sign on your left into the cloister courtyard.

Oberammergau - Linderhof (The Sonnenweg)

Starting point: Oberammergau railway station, final destination: Palace Linderhof. Oberammergau can be reached by the train RB Murnau - Oberammergau as well as from Garmisch-Partenkirchen on the busses 1084 and 9606; Linderhof can by reach by the bus 9622 from Oberammergau. Duration of the hike approx. 5 hours - no special treading capability required (valley hike).

Route: from the railway station approx. 3 km upriver along the Ammer, turn right in the direction of Linderhof (Sonnenweg) at the large bridge, shortly turn left at the small tarred road and then turn right in the direction of Linderhof. Pass by the Ram farms and finally also pass by Graswang and slightly ascend on the Kohlbachweg over meadows and through forest; turn left down into the palace park just before Linderhof behind the fence.

Biking in the Ammer Valley

The valleys and soft hills around Oberammergau are perfect for bike hiking, the landscape offering rich development possibilities both to the sportive biker and to the leisure biker. A convenient service of the railway for bikers: in the administrative districts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Weilheim-Schongau, you can take your bike along for free (update end of 1998). If you don´t have your own, there are two bike rentals who can help you with suitable transportation means.

Oberammergau - Linderhof

From the Ammergauer Haus you turn left and ride along the Eugen-Papst-Straße until you reach the sharp left bend (approx. 300 m). This is where you cross the Ammer on the König-Ludwig-Straße and keep left on the bike track following the bridge. You continue riding along the river (keep right at the junction Ettal) and cross the nature reserve Weidmoos on the untarred bike track. This is how you reach the Ammer Bridge, where the Mühlbach, fed by the large Ammer springs, is lead through the Ammer bed.

Oberammergau - Wieskirche (pilgrimage church)

Beginning at the Ammergauer Haus, you ride right along the Eugen-Papst-Straße, follow the sharp left bend of the main road and continue on it until the road crosses the Ammer after about 200 metres. Directly after the bridge you take a right on to the bike track on the Ammer embankment to Unterammergau. In Unterammergau you cross the railway tracks carefully and take a right at the federal road. After about 300 metres you recross the railway tracks and can use the bike track on the left side of the road. About 600 metres out of the village, you take a left in the direction of Altenau. In Altenau you cross the railway tracks, ride through the village on the main road and take a left in the direction of Unternogg at the fire-extinguishing pond. You reach the forester´s lodge Unternogg (possibility of stopping at an inn) riding along the Ammer on a quiet tarred road.

You continue on the road crossing the Halbammer, and turn left in the direction of the forest right after the slight incline. The road through the forest stays steadily inclined before you reach a stretched out clearing which gets wider. You keep right and stay on this track. Just before a slight incline, the track becomes tarred again and leads you through the manor Schildschwaig. From here a beautiful street winds its way to the hamlet Schwarzenbach. Turn left after bridge and follow the slight incline. This last ascent is worth its while and immediately compensates you with a view of the world-famous Wieskirche (possibility of stopping at an inn).

On the way back you can roll back down the ascent you toiled so hard to peak . As an alternative, you can start back "in direction mountain", passing by the Wieskirche. This track leads you through the forest for a while, then take a left at the fork and pass by two farms. Following this, you keep left again and reach the so-called Königstraßerl ("wee king´s street") on which you will return to the track known to you, leading you to the Halbammer and to the Gasthaus Unternogg.



Oberammergau - Murnau (through the Murnauer Moos)

Beginning at the Ammergauer Haus, you ride right along the Eugen-Papst-Straße, follow the sharp left bend of the main road and continue on it until the road crosses the Ammer after about 200 metres. Directly after the bridge, you turn right on to the bike track on the Ammer embarkment to Unterammergau.

In Unterammergau you cross the railway tracks carefully and turn right at the federal road. After about 300 metres you recross the railway tracks and can use the bike track on the left side of the road. About 600 metres out of the village you turn left in the direction of Altenau. Ride through Altenau and leave the village on the Saulgruber Straße (sorry to say it´s quite steep) in the direction of Saulgrub.

In Saulgrub you reach the federal road again and turn right in the direction of Murnau just after the ascent. On the way through Bad Kohlgrub you remain on the main road until the Mühlstraße branches off just before the village border (directly at the post office). This is the road you take along the Lindenbach in the direction of Murnauer Moos until you once again branch on a small street near the sports field. You take a short left here and then turn right straightaway (before the bridge) again in the direction of Murnau and bike through the silence of the Murnauer Moos.

After a few kilometres you reach the picturesque Ramsachkircherl (small church) and a small beer garden. You reach Murnau on a track, once in Murnau you keep left on the Mühlstraße on which you cross the railway tracks until you reach the junction. Here you turn into the park path and ride along the health resort park until you reach the Kohlgruber Straße. You take a left across the junction, turn right after a few metres and ride up to the little railway station "Murnau-Ort", where you can catch the train in the direction of Oberammergau, which stops here every hour at about five past the hour.

The EU-project Experience nature and culture actively - between Oberammergau and Reutte puts a rich offer of experiencing our natural and cultural landscape close up at your disposal.

In the framework of this project, information brochures concerning miscellaneous hikes, bike tours and cross-country skiing runs are drawn up. Accompanied by these brochures and a number of information signs on the side of the road, you can hike through the valleys of Ammer and Graswang or enjoy them while riding a bike or on cross-country skis. You can define your holiday activity free of any pressures to succeed and free of stress and will surely reach your goal. As a side effect, you will learn lots of noteworthy things on the nature and culture of the Ammergau if you feel like it.

In today´s day and age, intact nature with intact basics that are fundamental to life (water, earth, air) are becoming more and more valuable. The nature reserve of the Ammer mountain range with its many natural and organic spaces bears witness to this.

But we kindly ask you to also help maintain the natural and cultural landscape. Enjoy the treasures you find by the side of the road but please leave them there. Please keep to the special rules of conduct valid in such valuable natural surroundings, and therewith enable the surroundings to give yourself and us just as much pleasure in the future.

Travelling to Oberammergau

Train: The Ammer Valley railway, built in the year 1900, brings you to Oberammergau - turning off in Murnau from the railway route Munich - Mittenwald. This railway route is considered by some to be the most beautiful in Germany and for a good reason: it winds down slowly between quiet villages and meadows in full bloom, touches local moors and opens up a beautiful view of the mountain scenery of the Werdenfelser Land again and again!

Travelling from Munich: hourly with the Regionalexpress in the direction of Mittenwald / Innsbruck until Murnau, connecting to the Regionalbahn to Oberammergau here. Duration of ride: 1h 47 min.

Travelling from Innsbruck: hourly from 11 - 17 h (otherwhise about every 2 hours) with the Regionalexpress in the direction of Munich until Murnau, connecting to the Regionalbahn to Oberammergau here. Duration of ride: approx. 2h 50 min.

Travelling from Augsburg and Geltendorf respectively (railway route Munich - Lindau): with the Regionalbahn in the direction of Weilheim, connecting to the Regionalexpress in the direction of Mittenwald / Innsbruck here until Murnau. From Murnau, Regionalbahn to Oberammergau. Duration of ride: 3h 08 min (from Geltendorf 2h 13 min).

Airplane: The most important international aiports provide connecting flights to Munich.

Transfer Airport:

Train: The Munich Airport is connected to the railway network by the tramline (S-Bahn) S 8. In Pasing (fiinal destination of the S 8), you transfer into the Regionalexpress in the direction of Mittenwald / Innsbruck until Murnau, connecting to the Regionalbahn to Oberammergau here.

Airport Express: Christian Lehneis, your friendly and reliable partner connecting you to all European airports.

Road:

From Munich: Autobahn 95 in the direction of Garmisch-Partenkirchen; after the end of the Autobahn, turn right in Oberau on to the B 23 (federal road 23) in the direction of Augsburg until Oberammergau. (distance 88 km, duration approx. 65 min).

From Augsburg: B17 in the direction of Füssen / Garmisch-Partenkirchen; crossing on to the B 23 in Peiting in the direction of Garmisch-Partenkirchen until Oberammergau. (distance 97 km, duration approx. 100 min).

From Innsbruck: Autobahn 12 in the direction of Zurich; exit Zirl-Ost N177 in the direction of Mittenwald /Scharnitz; from the border B2 in the direction of Garmisch / Munich; in Oberau on to the B23 in the direction of Augsburg until Oberammergau. (distance 76 km; duration approx. 75 min).

From Kempten: A7 in the direction of Füssen; in Oy-Mittelberg on to B309; turn lift in Weißbach on to the B310 in the direction of Füssen, in Füssen turn left on to the B17 in the direction of Augsburg; in Steingaden right in the direction of Oberammergau; at the Echelsbacher bridge right on to the B23 until Oberammergau. (distance 88 km; duration approx. 90 min).

Biking in the Ammer Valley - The valleys and soft hills around Oberammergau are perfect for bike hiking, the landscape offering rich development possibilities both to the sportive biker and to the leisure biker. A convenient service of the railway for bikers: in the administrative districts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Weilheim-Schongau, you can take your bike along for free (update end of 1998). If you don´t have your own, there are two bike rentals who can help you with suitable transportation means.

Oberammergauer Countryside

Castle Linderhof: Idyllically situated lies the fairy tale castle of King Ludwig II. Starting point of mountain hiking tours to the Pürschling, Brunnenkopf and Klammspitz. The beautiful castle park with various monuments is very inviting to going for a walk.

Graswang: Picturesque farm village offering possibilities of stopping at an inn.

Cloister Ettal: During the centuries, a village with neat houses, shops and various possibilities of stopping at an inn has established itself around the Cloister Ettal, founded in 1330. Aside from the church, a boarding-school, an artist´s publishing house, the production of the famous cloister liqueur, a brewery as well as a hotel and a restaurant also form part of the cloister infrastructure.

Unterammergau: quiet country village with a church worth a sight and various pretty wall-paintings (Lüftlmalerei) in the centre of the village.

Saulgrub/Altenau: villages with a countryside flair situated in the midst of wonderful hiking paths around the Ammer which has carved out a deep ravine here. (Ravine of the Ammer with the Schleier Falls).

Bad Kohlgrub: at the foot of the Hörnle (1548m), you will find the highest altitude mud-bath health resort in Germany. With the help of the thick consistence of the natural peat, the guests can find cures and relief from all sorts of afflictions. (link to Bad Kohlgrub).

Bad Bayerson: The youngest mud-bath health resort in Bavaria is situated along the Soier Lake and offers the particularly strong healing forces of the thick natural peat just as Bad Kohlgrub. Furthermore, the village has a widespread network of hiking and cycling paths to show.

Werdenfelser Land

The castle on the Loisach north of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the heartland of the Bavarian Alps has been in ruins for a long time now, but its name "Wehr den Fels" (defend the cliff) describes the surrounding countryside as the Werdenfelser Land until today. The mountain ranges of Wetterstein and Karwendel belong to it - both of them high-altitude -, as do the river surroundings of the Isar, Loisach and Ammer and further into the foothills of the Alps, the lakes around Murnau. Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of the nearly 3000 metre high Zugspitze is internationally known as both a sportive and an artistic mountain village. Germany´s highest mountain sports three mountain railways. The beauty of the high mountain regions inspired Richard Strauss to compose his famous "Alpensymphonie" in his villa in Garmisch.

Mittenwald, one of the prettiest villages in Upper Bavaria, was once an important trade locality between the republics of Venice and the trading villages Augsburg and Nuremburg. Until today, the festivity weeks are reminiscent of the "Venice" (or "Bozen") market place of this Italian-Upper Bavarian first link. Since the end of the seventeenth century, Mittenwald has been the centre of violin building. Aside from Oberammergau, many other villages of the Werdenfelser Land are captivating due to the house facades that are colourfully painted with a lot of phantasy. This is the home of "Lüftlmalerei" (wall-painting), the art of the fresco, the Upper Bavarian way.

In the bordering lake surroundings of Murnau, the epoch-making art direction of the "Blaue Reiter" finds its origins around Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and Franz Marc, who depicted the beauties of these landscapes in many pictures.

When continuing to drive in the Ammer Valley after having passed Palace Linderhof, you first reach the source of the river at the 7 springs, then the saddle of the Ammer after which you finally reach the Lake Plan in its picturesque environment. A small road winds its way along the Lake Plan down to Reutte, the "Gate to Tyrol" which is situated in the Lech Valley. Just like the Ammer Valley, the Lech Valley belongs to one of the best preserved river landscapes in the Alps. It is the goal of the community project between the communities of Reutte, Oberammergau and the EU to make hiking and biking connections from Oberammergau to Reutte usable without impairing the delicate natural environment of the region.

Holiday Country Bavaria

Bavaria is located in the heart of Europe - Napoleon himself was already witness to this by setting a milestone near Waldsassen in Upper Palatinate, marking the "middle of Europe". And this is no exaggeration, because be it Brussels, Budapest, Prague or Paris, Maastricht or Milan - Bavaria is not far away.

Bavaria is the largest state of the Federal Republic of Germany with 70,000 square km. Its nearly 12 million inhabitants live in 7 the adminsitrative divisions of the state, namely in Lower Franconia, Central Franconia and Upper Franconia in the North, Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate in the East as well as Swabia and Upper Bavaria in the South. The variety of the countryside, ranging from the wine-growing areas along the Main to the glaciers in the Alps and also the variety of the people and the cultures, have turned Bavaria into one of the most loved holiday destinations in Europe.

Oberammergau is located in the far South of Bavaria and shares a boundary with the Austrian state of Tyrol along the neighbouring mountain ranges of the Ammer and the Wetterstein. The people of Oberammergau and their language are influenced by the neighbouring regions of Swabia and Tyrol, mixed with unique ancient Bavarian characteristics. This is why the village is a treasure trove also for people with intimate knowledge of Bavaria!

King Ludwig II.

The "fairy tale king" Ludwig II plays a very special part in the history of Oberammergau. On the one hand he was a guest in the fascinating mountainous countryside of the Ammergau mountain range, which he regulary frequented for long hikes, rides on horseback and by coach. From the year 1869 onwards, he was also the client for whom the Palace Linderhof was built, on the grounds of a hunting lodge of the king´s father, Ludwig I.

Aside from its fascinating location in the Graswangtal and the luxurious interior furnishings, the Linderhof is especially distinguished by the magnificent landscape park and the monuments set in it. It is here that you can find a "Moorish Kiosk" shimmering in gold, an ethnic "Hunding Hut" as well as a "Venus Grotto" of mystical nature with an artificial lake and a small boat in the shape of a shell drifting on it. Linderhof was completed in 1879 and was the only one of the famous "fairy tale castles" to have been completed in the king´s lifetime, as all the other palaces were still under construction at the time of Ludwig´s mysterious death.

The fact that the arts play a large role in the village is obvious, literature, albeit first and foremost in the service of the Passion Playwenn, music which has been interconnected to the Passion Play from time immemorial. The centre of musical occupation in Oberammergau is naturally the theatre, and this not only because making music on the stage of the Alpine inhabitants is not only important in itself but also because it is part of the necessary practice for the Passion Play returning every ten years.

The king´s enthusiasm for the Oberammergau Passion Play is portrayed in a short story concerning a private peformance in the year 1871.