Saturday, December 21, 2013

Church of Peter & Paul, Oberammergau

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This is an image taken of a brochure about the church in Oberammergau.

I took a photo so I could see what it looked like in summer as compared to what it was like during the snowy time we were there in December!

What a contrast!

The church is on a rather narrow building-crowded street and no photo angle could give me the whole thing --- which is why I suppose they took this photo from the air.

I just love old churches ---this one, the Catholic parish of St Peter and Paul…looks pretty unassuming on the outside, but the baroque and rococco style  art found on the inside took my breath away.

I found the church by winding my way down twisted streets and following the sound of the ringing church bells – a sound I came to love during my time in Germany.  It’s very easy to mark your day by the sound of bells going off on the hour, or at certain times of the day.  Such a wondrous timeless sound!

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I found myself at steps leading up to a gate ---the church surrounded by graves ancient and new.

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There is a hushed reverence in a place like this ---graves blanketed by beautiful white snow.

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I am touched by how grave yards in different countries all over the world are different – yet the same.

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What a beautiful contrast – that blue sky and sunshine against the cold glistening whiteness of the snow!

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The inside of the church took my breath away ---

((Not only because it was FREEZING inside!!))

Construction of this beautiful building began in 1735 and was consecrated in the year 1749.  Building such a place in those times was no small feat!

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Ceiling view

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There are computer terminals where you can read the history of the church.

I found a link to a PDF copy so you can read about it HERE.

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And I know it’s kind of morbid of me –but I am intrigued by old churches that keep “reliquaries” in full view.

According to wikki:
A reliquary (also referred to as a shrine or by the French term ch√Ęsse) is a container for relics. These may be the physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures. The authenticity of any given relic is often a matter of debate; for that reason, some churches require documentation of the relic's provenance.
I have searched and searched for an ENGLISH version of who this saint is –perhaps a well-loved bishop or other person, but he is plainly visible within the shrine above.  Who was he?  What was he sainted or enshrined for?  I want to know!

If anyone can translate the German for me, please leave your translation in the comments section below so we ALL can be in the know! 

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Is he Amadeus Eyrl?

Sorry about the reflection in the glass...it was just a bad framed xerox copy hanging on the wall...and curiosity has gotten the better of me!

I’ve uploaded the rest of my photos in a slide show!  Please click the image below if you can’t view the slide show on your mobile device.  You will be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Church of St Peter & Paul, Oberammergau 2013

It was just such a beautiful church set in a glorious backdrop of snow covered mountains ---can you imagine Christmas Eve mass in a place like this?  So happy I was there at Christmas time.

My day is planned out for me, and I better get going on it.  All of the block quarters for the Boxy Stars quilt I am working on were completed by midnight last night -- which explains my Sleep-In this morning.

The goal is to get the blocks sewn, and start laying them out with sashing fabric today.  I've brought several choices that "may" work with me up to the cabin --I hope one of them does!

I'll check in this evening and let you see how things are progressing--

Have a wonderful, restful (HA!) weekend everyone!

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  1. Hi Bonnie -- thank you so much for more pictures. I'm with you about the churches, such reverence and peacefulness. Enjoy your Christmas holidays with family. We are on our way to San Diego to see my family and I too am getting stuff together to take along. Happy holidays to everyone!!

    Lori in Mesa, AZ

  2. Reliquary
    At the Altar of the Cross of our church there is a reliquary with the body of the holy martyr Amandus. The chronic reports about the provenance:
    The dominican monk Amadeus Eyrl, who was born in Oberammergau, wanted to serve the church of his hometown. He lived in Rome and there gained ownership of the holy body. He waited for a long time to send the holy body to Ammergau. Finally Jakob Noder, a trader from Ammergau, on his return trip from Neaples came to him and offerd to do this free of charge. On November 3rd, 1760 he left Rome, with the holy burden on his back. But the kind Jakob died on his trip home. Only some time later Melchior Paistenmantel, also from Ammergau, took care of the transfer back home. In the Starmonestary in Augsburg the reliquary was trimmed (bordered?? decorated?) and during the church consecration festival the then provost of Rottenbuch ceremonialy placed the reliquary shrine at the Altar of the Cross.

    1. Thank you for the translation!! This is wonderful!

  3. OK, I try my best:
    It is the body of the Holy Martyr Amandus. (sorry, no further information about him)
    The Dominican brother Amadeus Eyrl (living in Rome and born in Oberammergau) wanted to render a service to his home church. He waited a long time for the possibility to send this holy body to Oberammergau. The trader Jakob Noder who was on his way from Neapel back to Ammergau offers the delivery of the body for free. He left Rome on 3.11.1760 but died during the journey. Some time later Melchior Faistenmantel from Ammergau organised the transport of the body to Augsburg. During the church consecration festival 1762 the shrine came to the cross altar celebrated by the provost Rottenbuch.
    Kerry from Germany

    1. Kerry, das is perfekt! Gute Uebersetzung. Vielen Dank!

  4. Bonnie - Thanks so much for the pictures of this church. I always enjoy the photos you post of the places you get to travel. Have a super day!

  5. Three of those daily bells you would hear were the Angelus.... rung at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. calling folks to prayer.

  6. Reading your post reminds me how much I miss the sound of ringing church bells here in Michigan. It's only when somebody else points it out when I realize it's been a somewhat forgotten part of my growing up, sometimes maybe even a bit annoying.
    Have you ever been in Germany/ Europe for New Years? At least in my home town we'll hear all the church bells of the area ringing in the New Year - followed by fireworks everywhere in the streets.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Thank you for the pictures of the church and the town in winter. I visited Oberammergau during the summer of 2010 for the Passion play and it was fabulous - 5 hours of theater where the whole town is involved. There was a dinner break at the 3rd hour. I am looking forward to returning in 2020 - every performance is different. I also visited this small church - during mass. The pews were packed even though it was an ordinary Sunday in summer. The mass and music, in German, were wonderful with the fabulous acoustics.
    Thanks again for the lovely pictures! I can't wait to go back. . .

    mary from RI

  8. I never get bored with your photos, so wonderful. When you are there you have to ask yourself, people need to this. The history is so interesting and people get to live there and see it everyday. But there is no place like home.

  9. St. Amandus was a bishop in the early Church and died around 675 at the age of 90. The first link shows the reliquary and there is a translation tab at the top of the page. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amand_von_Maastricht

    Wonderful photos!

  10. Lovely slideshow. The church is so beautiful. I'm a sucker for snow scenes so have been in heaven seeing all your winter photographs. Enjoy what time you have left at your cabin and safe journey home.

  11. Here is a link to a Guardian article giving more detail and pictures of this sort of relic:


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