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Friday, March 12, 2010

Travel Souvenir Collections 4 Oberammergau Passion Play

Visit Cindy at My Romantic Home for links to other Show and Tell participants.

Today’s post is a continuation from yesterday’s post, "Europe: An Illustrated Tablescape."

In 1970 as a graduate student I spent six weeks of summer school in England. Each Wednesday was an all-day excursion to various places of interest to English majors:
I had a set of two large scrapbooks bought in England. Each day our group placed items in our albums related to literary and historic sites which we visited.

I also kept three small notebooks for daily entries about the day’s happenings.

A scrapbook page showing tokens from our visit to the National Gallery in London:

Other London sites visited

A day in Wells and Glastonbury

At the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon we saw Patrick Stewart in King John. Some of us had just studied the play along with other Shakespeare history plays in a graduate course.

Following the six weeks in England we spent two weeks on the European continent. A highlight of that time was a stay in the Bavarian Alps town of Garmisch, Germany at the Drie Mohren hotel. I can still remember the soft featherbeds in my room.

Hotel Der Drei Mohren (The Three Moors), Garmisch, Germany

From their website, here is an example of the comfortable rooms. I remember sinking into the featherbed….how dreamy….

Excerpt from my notebook:
"Houses in Oberammergau – painted scenes on sides & fronts: religious, fairy tales, etc. Very pretty flower boxes, gingerbread designs. {Surroundings evoke} clean, honest, working people. Women & men working in fields tossing hay; native dress common on women and girls."
Well, our reason for staying there is that Garmisch is very near to Oberammergau, where the Oberammergau Passion Play is held every 10 years in keeping with a vow made in 1633. The town was grateful for being spared from the plague which killed off thousands on the continent.
Since 2010 is a performance year for the Play, I am longing to go over there again, and to experience the dramatic performance.
Memories of the Passionsspiele
Excerpt from my notebook:
"Thurs. Aug. 27 -- Left hotel and arrived at Ober. at 9:15. Play began shortly after we were seated...Late Americans!"
Each attendee was given a book with full score of the lyrics in one of various languages so the audience could follow the action on stage. Here is my copy and my ticket:
Before each scene a long line of singers came out and the Prologue, a tall male singer in the middle, gave an introduction to the next scene. I scannned this postcard:

Photo of the postcard in my scrapbook

I can still see the beautiful colors of the rich costumes.
The Last Supper
Judas Betrays Jesus With a Kiss

I remember that the singing and speaking was masterfully done – all in German. I wished then that I had studied German in college or high school, in addition to Spanish and some French.

After a lunch break, we all returned to our seats for the afternoon performance with its moving scenes of the crucifixion.

Excerpt from my notebook
"Returned to hotel for quite a delicious lunch. Arrived back just before play started."

A very enjoyable feature of the play was the Tableau Vivant segments, where the actors would arrange themselves in a beautifull painting-like scene, and would hold the pose.

Excerpt from a library exhibit I did about the play in the 1980’s
"Even today, ten years residency in Oberammergau is required for anyone wishing to perform in the play, and preference in casting is given to those who were born there.
"To the 5,000 citizens of the village, the play is many things: a religious pageant, an act of faith, a civic identity and, not least, a once-a-decade commercial bonanza to sustain them through nine lean years."

You may wish to follow this link to further information about the passion play: http://www.oberammergau.de/ot_e/passionplay/

This is my scrapbook page showing a map of the area and postcard of our hotel:
Here is a souvenir teacup and saucer from Oberammergau, Germany made circa 1960's. It is of white porcelain with gilding. Cup 1 ½" tall x 3" diam, Saucer 4 ¼" diam. The cup has a gilt band on inside along with an illustration of the town labeled, 'OBERAMMERGAU'. On bottom of cup: "DD-Co/ Kunstrehal/ Bavaria/ Made in/ Germany" The gold-rimmed saucer is labelled on the bottom: "Bavaria/ S [Crown]W Porzellan/Germany"

A souvenir spoon from Oberammergau. The crest shows a cross draped with a robe to represent the Passion Play

Page from scrapbook showing post cards I bought there:
This German-made white linen is embroidered in blue with a different design on each of four squares that are joined together.

Links to previous posts on travel collection:
Travel Souvenir Collections Part 1 - Spoons
Friday Show & Tell: Travel Souvenir Collections 2 – Plates (Blue and White)
Travel Souvenir Collections 3 - Shelias Houses

Thanks for coming by today. I welcome comments and read each one.


Susan Freeman said...

What wonderful memories! I went on a European tour after college. I alosvisited Garmish. Ah I remember the feather beds too. We have one on our bed now. It's very comfy, but makes it tough to get up in the morning!

Susan and Bentley

Marianne said...

Those scrapbooks are wonderful memories. You are so lucky that you still have them. I enjoyed seeing them.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Wonderful memories! Love the teacup!

Irene said...

Oh my Goodness! How very precious! I have made a post of your tablescape, dear Carrie. You can check it at

Have a beautiful weekend!

Carrie said...

Hello Irene,
How gracious of your to post about my Europe map table setting in your Green Turtle blog!
Thank you very much,

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