Top Sights to See in Oberammergau, Germany

Painted Tromp l’Oeil Façades, Woodcarvings, and Passionstheater

The top sights to see in Oberammergau, Bavaria include Lüftlmalerei painted houses, woodcarvings in the Pilatushaus, the Passionstheater used for the Passion Play, and nature.

Jesus Lüftmalerei
 photo credit: adamr.stone

Oberammergau in Bavaria, Southern Germany, is world famous for its Passion Play (Passionsspiele), which is performed at least every decade. Oberammergau has a beautiful location near the Bavarian and Tyrolean Alps and is popular with outdoor enthusiast. Oberammergau itself is pretty too with many Lüftmalerei (tromp l’oeil) painted house facades. Oberammergau is also famous for its excellent woodcarvings – mostly but not exclusively of religious themes.

Lüftlmalerei – Tromp l’Oeil Painted Houses in Oberammergau

Oberammergau is popular with tourist for its convenient location close to the mountains as well as numerous interesting sightseeing spots. Houses and hotels in Oberammergau generally sport typical Bavarian architecture or at least style elements including the use of wood and in summer balconies and window flower boxes overflowing with especially geraniums.

Many building in Oberammergau have lovely tromp l’oeil (Lüftlmalerei) painted façades. In Oberammergau, tromp l’oeil paintings are mostly of religious themes but a few rowdy beer hall and fairy tale scenes can also be seen.

Oberammergau – an Important Woodcarving Center in Germany

Woodcarving is a centuries-old tradition in Oberammergau. Originally, woodcarving was a useful sideline to occupy workers during long winters but presently woodcarvings in Oberammergau is mostly done by professional and full-time artists. Like so many other things in Oberammergau, religious themes are the most commonly carved but more secular items are also increasingly popular.

The Pilatushaus with its tromp l’oeil painted façade displays amongst the best woodcarving items made in Oberammergau. The free Pilatushaus is usually open Tuesday to Saturday afternoons from mid-May to mid-October and in winter around major holidays.

Many studios are also open to visitors – enquire at hotels or the tourist information office about participating woodcarvers.

Oberammergau Museum in Bavaria

The Oberammergau Museum is a typical tourist town museum with the usually eclectic collection of local art and historical objects. Once again, religious objects take pride of place.

The Oberammergau Museum has a large collection of wood-carved items from the Gothic period to the present. Cribs (Christmas nativity scenes) and locally produced glass also feature prominently.

The Oberammergau Museum is usually open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm but closed for most of November, February, and March. Admission is €4.

The Passionstheater in Oberammergau, Bavaria

The Passionstheater in Oberammergau was built for performance of the Oberammergauer Passionsspiele (Passion Play). The theater can only be used in summer as it is partly open air. All 4,500 seats are covered by a roof and performances are therefore never cancelled due to rain.

NOTE: The Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 has been postponed until 2022. Ticketholders for the 2020 play will receive either a full refund or may convert the tickets to the 2022 Passion Play – See Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 Postponed Until 2022 Passionspiele for details.

A wide range of hotels are available in the Oberammergau region. These hotels are generally reasonably priced except during the Passion Play season when prices skyrocket. Oberammergau can easily be reached on public transportation although a car is an easier and very pleasurable way to explore this part of Bavaria. Famous sight in the immediate region include Zugspitze, Kloster Ettal, Schloss Linderhof, the Wieskirche, as well as the Disney-like Schloss Neuschwanstein.


Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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