Oberammergau Passion Play Pilgrimage
Austria, Germany & Oberammergau
Spiritual Director: Fr. Bill Waters, OSA
May 24 - June 2, 2020
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels (or similar):
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Marriott, Vienna
- ~ 3 nights: NH Hotel or Wyndham Grand, Salzburg
- ~ 2 nights: Oberammergau area
- ~ 1 night: Munich
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Tickets to the Passion Play
- Official Passion Play Program in English
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Beverages, Meals not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of personal nature.
Sunday, May 24: USA - Vienna
Depart USA for your overnight flight(s) to Vienna. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Monday, May 25: Arrive Vienna
Upon arrival at Vienna Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Vienna, you will be escorted to your transportation and transferred to your hotel. Free time before dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, May 26: Vienna
After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing of Vienna, home of Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Visit the spectacular St. Stephen's cathedral, the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century. Today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. At St. Stephen's, we'll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapoch. You will tour the Cathedral and its catacombs. Those strong and brave may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Continue with a visit of the Schonbrunn Royal palace, a summer residence with 1,441 rooms including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young Marie Antoinette Louis. Schonbrunn Palace was put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in December 1996. We will continue our journey in Vienna and view the Belvedere palace well known by its beautiful gardens. Back in the city center, we go to Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner's Stadtbahn pavilions. Somewhere along the way we will have a little coffee break to enjoy the famous Vienna pastries such as Sacher cake. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
Wednesday, May 27: Vienna - Melk - Mariazell - Salzburg
After breakfast, we board the motor coach and travel east through the mountain of Austria to Melk, which is best known as the site of a massive baroque Benedictine monastery named Melk Abbey. Overlooking the Danube river. The Abbey, holds the tomb of Saint Coloman of Stockerau and the remains of several members of the House of Babenberg, Austria's first ruling dynasty. Continue to Mariazell, the most important pilgrimage place in Austria. Visit the Mariazell Basilica, also known as Basilica Maria Geburt (Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary). Mariazell Basilica is a Marian basilica, which holds the miraculous statue, housed in the Lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles, built directly over the place where Magnus established his monastic cell in 1157. Continuing on to Salzburg, the lovely birthplace of famed composer Mozart . Salzburg also known as "Alt Stadt" is known for its beautiful baroque architecture and its amazing views of the Eastern Alps. Free time before dinner and overnight.
Thursday, May 28: Salzburg
After breakfast, our full day tour begins with Mass at St. Peter's Abbey. Following Mass we will explore the historic center of Salzburg on foot. Its narrow streets and secluded passageways are evidence of its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church is evident in the Archbishop's Residence at DomPlatz. Visit Mirabell Palace with its beautiful gardens. Mirabell Palace, is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical "The Sound of Music". Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace, singing the song "Do Re Mi". Experience the unique views across Mirabell Gardens towards the HohenSalzburg Castle. You will have a chance to visit the mighty Romanesque Cathedral as well as the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns. In the Getreidegasse view Mozart birthplace, now one of the most visited museums in Austria. We will make a stop at Hellbrunn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains. Dinner and overnight.
Friday, May 29: Excursion: Oberndorf Bei Salzburg (The Silent Night Chapel) - Marktl am Inn - Altotting
After breakfast, we will have a short drive to Oberndorf Bei Salzburg to visit the Silent Night Chapel, where the famous Christmas Carol was written by Franz Gruber in 1818. We will continue to drive north to the Austrian and Germany boarder, along the River Inn to the little town of Marktl am Inn, home town of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, was elected pope. The new head of the Catholic Church took the name Pope Benedict XVI. We will visit the St. Oswald Church, where Pope Benedict XVI was Baptized. The former toll house, which was built in 1701, is the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI. He was born there on the 16th of April 1927 and is now functioning as a Museum. We will continue to Altotting, where you will have some time to consume lunch on your own. Altotting often is called "Lourdes of Germany" . Visit The Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting, also known as the Chapel of Grace, is the national shrine of Bavaria dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Chapel's 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin credited with numerous miracles. Altotting has been a place of pilgrimage in Germany for over 500 years. At the Shrine view the 750 year old Black Madonna. After Mass celebration we will then return to Salzburg for dinner and overnight.
Saturday, May 30: Salzburg - Schwangau - Ettal - Oberammergau
Following breakfast we will depart for Bavaria to explore King Ludwig II of Bavaria's majestic castle, Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein is more beautiful than the lower castle of Hohenschwangau, also located in Schwangau. Enjoy lunch on own before we continue on to the Ettal. When approaching Ettal you will see The majestic dome of the Ettal Basilica . The huge dome is the symbol of the sanctuary of "Our Lady in Charity". The monastery was built around the church. After Mass we will continue to Oberammergau. The beautiful village of Oberammergau, is home of the famous Passion Play of the life of Christ. The play dates back to 1633 when the plague, the "Black Death", took a severe toll of lives in the small village. In their distress, the inhabitants turned to God and vowed that if the pestilence was taken from them, they would perform a play every year, depicting the suffering and death of the Savior. Their plea was heard and there were no further plague victims in Oberammergau. The first performance of the Passion play took place in 1634 in the village cemetery. As the Passion Play gained popularity more performances were implemented and in 1680 is was the start of the first ten year to host the Passion Play. Dinner and overnight.
Sunday, May 31: Oberammergau - Passion Play: Performance Day
Celebrate Mass at local church. Enjoy some time to explore Oberammergau's colorful frescos known as "Luftlmalereien" on house facades and to visit wood carving shops with amazing array of nativity scenesand religious figures. Following lunch, we will make our way to the world famous theatre to attend the performance of a lifetime, the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. The sleepy village springs to life every ten years to put on a play that draws the world upon it! We, too, will become part of mission of the Passion of Christ, the greatest story ever told. We all share His message of faith and love! The Oberammergau Passion Play tells the story of the Passion of Christ, beginning with His entry into Jerusalem, followed by His trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The play is held in a beautiful open air theatre that is praised for its superb acoustics. There are 2,000 actors (and live animals), they include local wood carvers, hotel owners, students, teachers, children, all of them interrupt their schedules to become actors, singers, orchestra members and stagehands. Requirements are strict: all actors must be born in Oberammergau, or have lived there 20 years, or be married to a villager and a resident for 10 years. All natural makeup, such as men let their hair and beards grow a year before the play. Female roles are limited to single women under age 35.
The Play is approximately five and a half hours long and is performed in two acts.
Act I : 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Intermission: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Act II: 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Monday, June 1: Oberammergau - Munich
After breakfast, we will leave Oberammergau behind and drive north to Munich (city of the monks), the capital of Bavaria. Upon arrival, your local guide will take you on a guided tour which will include: visit the twin towered Frauenkirche where we will celebrate Mass today. The Frauenkirche; the Church of Our Lady, is the most familiar landmark of old Munich. Step foot on Marienplatz with its world famous "Glockenspiel". Continue on to view the town hall, and the magnificent boulevard Feldherrenhalle Ludwigsstrasse Siegestor, created by King Ludwig I in the middle of the 19th century. Pass by the Residenz, the palace of the kings of Bavaria, and the Hofgarten. Enjoy some free time for lunch, shopping or perhaps enjoy a stein of bier at the famous Munich Hoffbrau. Dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, June 2: Return from Munich to your hometown
Today we fondly say Auf Wiedersehen to Germany, say farewell to your fellow pilgrims and new friends! Although it's an end of this journey, graces and blessings from our pilgrimage will last a lifetime.