Andrew is one of Britain's leading cultural commentators. He has presented numerous TV series. He is also the author of several acclaimed books of art history. He is currently writing a new study of Johannes Vermeer. Andrew is one of Britain's leading cultural commentators. He has presented numerous TV series. He is also the author of several acclaimed books of art history. He is currently writing a new study of Johannes Vermeer.
Oberammergau and the castles of Bavaria with Andrew Graham-Dixon
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In 1633, as an outbreak of Black Death wreaked its grim toll, the villagers of Oberammergau in southern Bavaria made an extraordinary promise. If God spared them, they vowed, they would re-enact the last days of Jesus's life every 10 years in gratitude. From the moment they made their pledge, nobody in the village died - and almost four centuries on, the residents of Oberammergau remain true to their word with the 43rd staging of the passion play originally due to take place in 2020.
You can see this rare and moving spectacle on our exclusive tour, which will take in both the drama of the play and the astonishing surrounding area - including the castles and palaces built by 'mad' King Ludwig II in the 19th century in the midst of snow-capped alpine peaks, brooding forest lakes and colourful wildflower meadows. One of Britain's most insightful and entertaining cultural broadcasters, Andrew Graham-Dixon will join you during the tour, giving his insights into the artistic riches of Bavaria. European travel experiences do not come much more memorable and iconic than the Oberammergau Passion Play. If you miss this trip, you will have to wait until 2030 for your next chance.
"I'm really looking forward to this trip, especially the visit to Neuschwanstein - the world's most spectacular fairytale castle!"
Reasons to book
The once-a-decade Passion Play
Meet Andrew Graham-Dixon
Your expert guide
Scheduled flights between London and Munich (regional airports available on request)
Comfortable coach transfers
Two nights' bed and breakfast at the Mercure Hotel Muenchen City Centre
One night bed and breakfast at a hotel in the Oberammergau area
Two night's bed and breakfast at the Best Western Plus Fuessen
Four dinners (one included with the Passion Play ticket) and three lunches
Ticket for the Passion Play
Exclusive talk, Q&A and tour visits with Andrew Graham-Dixon
Visits to Chiemsee, Herreninsel Island, Hohenschwangau Castle, Berg Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle
Servies of a Professional Tour Manager
Tickets and quality accommodation in the Oberammergau area are strictly limited, and early bookings are strongly recommended.
Day1MunichMunich , Germany
We depart in the morning from London on a direct flight to Munich. On arrival we head to our hotel, the Mercure München City Centre, stopping for lunch on the way. After check-in, join us on an optional walking tour of Munich or explore at your leisure. Dinner this evening is at the famous Hofbrauhaus.
Day2ChiemseeMunich , Germany
Today we drive to the Chiemsee, the largest lake in Bavaria, where Ludwig built his final dream castle Herrenchiemsee Palace on Herreninsel Island. Construction began in 1878, and the palace was inspired by Ludwig's visit to the Palace of Versailles. This is truly a monument to royal megalomania: 35 seamstresses spent seven years sewing the cover for the royal bed alone. Perhaps the most striking room here is the gilded Hall of Mirrors, best seen by candlelight, which is arguably even more dazzling than the original in Versailles. After lunch (not included) we wander the manicured palace grounds before making our return to Munich. Spend the evening at leisure.
We drive south through the wonderful scenery of the Bavarian Alps, stopping for lunch on the way to Oberammergau. After checking into our hotel in the Oberammergau area, we will gather together in the afternoon to attend a performance of the Passion Play. Dinner is inlcuded in the intermission.
We will have a leisurely morning after our late night at the play. WWe will then travel the short journey to Füssen, our home for the next two nights. En route we will stop at Hohenschwangau, Ludwig's childhood home, for a guided tour of the fortress and grounds with their alpine plants and flowers.
Day5NeuschwansteinNeuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Today is dedicated to Ludwig's crowning glory and the embodiment of his wildest Romantic fantasies - the stunning castle of Neuschwanstein. Featuring in numerous films, its soaring turrets and wedding-cake walls draw an amazing 1.3 million visitors per year. Built in the Romanesque Revival style, the castle was the scene of Ludwig's arrest in 1886 by his courtiers, exasperated by his eccentricities and profilgacy. We will spend most of the day here before returning in the afternoon to our hotel. Dinner is included tonight at the hotel.
Day6Berg CastleBerg Castle, Germany
After breakfast on our final day, we return to Munich via Castle Berg on the Starnbergersee. This country manor house - which is humble by Ludwig's standards - was where the King was confined after his deposition and declared insane. A few days later, he and his physician were found drowned in the lake. The mysterious double death has never been explained. We visit his tomb in Munich's St Michael's Church, before heading to the airport for our lunchtime flight home.
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