In 1633 the small village of Oberammergau, Germany was under threat of the plague and also surrounded by conflict of the Thirty Years War. And so a promise was made. The peoples of Oberammergau prayed to God for deliverance and protection, and in return pledged to perform “a play about the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” once every ten years. Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place in Oberammergau.
2020 will be the 42nd rendition of the Passion Play. This great tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, continues to bear witness to the beauty and truth of the Paschal Mystery. The village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps expects over half a million pilgrims to come and witness this largest amateur drama in the world, so begin making your plans soon.
DAY 1: DEPART U.S.A.
Depart today on our overnight flight to Prague.
DAY 2: ARRIVE PRAGUE
DAY 3: PRAGUE
Spanning the River Vltava, Prague is famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture. We will begin our day with visits to Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Church of Our Lady of Victory with its famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. After Mass, we will cross the historic Charles Bridge, built in 1400 and continue to the Loreto Shrine, one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Eastern Europe.
DAY 4: PRAGUE / VIENNA
This morning we cross the Czech/Austrian border and drive to Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) Abbey, a Cisterian monastery in the southern part of the Vienna Woods. Then drive on to majestic Vienna, our home for the next three nights.
DAY 5: VIENNA
Today we explore the Catholic heritage of Vienna including Augustinerkirche, Karlskirche, Peterskirche, the Hofburg Chapel, and the Stephansdom Cathedral, where we will celebrate Mass.
DAY 6: VIENNA
Today we venture into the Vienna Woods by way of the Hohenstrasse (High Road), with stops on the way at the Castle of Liechtenstein and the famous town of Baden. We then drive to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariazell which is the most well-known Marian Shrines in Central Europe. We will celebrate Mass here and return to Vienna for the night.
DAY 7: VIENNA / SALZBURG
This morning we will visit Melk Abbey which is located on the banks of the Danube River. After Mass, we drive through the Austrian countryside, stopping at Hallstatt, a tiny town largely untouched by the modern world. We will spend time at St. Michael Church and the crypt chapel Beinhaus, Bone House, known for its painted skulls. We continue to Salzburg for the night.
DAY 8: SALZBURG
Today we explore the rich Catholic heritage of Salzburg, including Nonnberg Convent which was founded by St. Rupert in the 8th century, the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and its 2nd century catacombs, the Cathedral, the oldest church in Salzburg – St. Michael, and the Collegiate Church of the Benedictine University. The evening will be free to explore town.
DAY 9: SALZBURG / OBERAMMERGAU
This morning cross into Germany border and continue to the Marian Shrine at Alotting where we will visit the Basilica of St. Anna, the Holy Chapel, the Collegiate Church, and the Treasury which houses gifts donated to the Basilica and St. Konrad Monastery. In the afternoon we stop at Benediktinerabtei Ettall Monastery to pray in the breathtaking church, visit the monastery grounds, and perhaps taste some of their brewery offerings. We continue in the evening to Oberammergau.
DAY 10: OBERAMMERGAU
Today is our opportunity to see the world famous Passion Play, performed by the residents of Oberammergau. The story of Oberammergau is one of faith and began with a miracle. True to the desperate promise this tiny village made, the residents have presented their Passion Play 41 times since 1634, and today you become part of that legacy as witness to their fidelity.
DAY 11: OBERAMMERGAU / MUNICH
This morning we will visit the Wieskirche (Church of the Meadow), also known as Church of the Scourged Redeemer, a beautiful example of Rocco art and architecture. On our way to Munich we will stop at Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig II which was Walt Disney’s inspiration for his park’s castle.
Day 12: MUNICH
Today we explore the Catholic side of Munich and visit both pilgrim sites and active parishes: Frauenkirche, Ludwigskirche, Theatine Church, Peterskirche, Asamkirche, St. Michael Church, and Bennokirche.
Day 13: MUNICH / U.S.A.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our return flight home.