Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scenes from Oberammergau!

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The quaint village of Oberammergau is nestled up against a glorious backdrop of snow encrusted mountains in the alps.

Every 10 years Oberammergau is home to the famous Passion Play ---and the town is crowded with people who come in from all over the world for this event which has gone on since the middle ages. 

On this day – we had the town mostly to ourselves.  It was cold, and crisp with a bright blue sky and delightful sunshine.  This was one of the days you WANTED to be on the sunny side of the street because it felt so good!

All over Oberammergau you will find traditional buildings decorated with fresco paintings depicting scenes ranging from biblical times to fairy tales.

Frescoed houses are a charming characteristic of the Bavarian Alps (Oberbayern).
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The frescoes of this region are known as Lüftlmalerei, or "Lüftl frescoes." The name is believed to derive from the house of the most renowned facade painter in Oberammergau, Franz Seraph Zwinck (1748-1792), which is called Zum Lüftl.
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The finest painting contributed by Zwinck is the "Pilatushaus" on Ludwig-Thoma-Strasse, which depicts Christ before Pilate. Today the Pilatushaus is home to the village's respected woodcarvers, painters, potters and sculptors. The house is open to the public and visitors can watch the artists at work.

I absolutely loved the stars we saw hanging all over -- see the one above the balcony?  Here in Winston Salem, NC we call them "Moravian" stars because this area was first settled by Moravians of German decent who purchased land here in 1753.  There is a very strong German tradition when it comes to holidays in this area, thanks to the Moravians.  Read more about the Moravians HERE.

Now every time I see a Moravian star hanging -- it's going to remind me of my trip to Germany!
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Other Oberammergau houses depict scenes from the Crucifixion and other biblical scenes, as well as fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood.
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Look at the detail on this window!
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Most of the frescoes I saw were religious in nature.
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Close up.
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Some even kind of frightening – check out the grim reaper!
We did quite a bit of shopping here.  The shops were filled with lovely Christmas ornaments and gifts –and oh, the cuckoo clocks!
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Sorry, guy – you are too big to fit in my carry on!
I’ve uploaded a slide show of my photos to keep them in one place.  Click the image below to view the slide show if you can’t view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken directly to the photo album for viewing!

We saw ONE sewing machine in this town...can you find it in the slide show? :)
Oberammergau, Germany 2013

I'm happy to say that I slept a FULL NIGHT last night ---it's about time!  I've got a quilt to lay out today and start sewing in rows.  I can't wait!

I'll be working on that for Quilt-Cam tonight at 9pm Eastern!  I hope you'll be joining me!

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  1. Wonderful painted buildings. I wonder that the art still lives as someone has to keep the paint fresh on these - or paint new ones. The motto under the Grim Reaper reads "Time flies quickly, be prepared."

  2. What a wonderful town. The houses etc. are beautiful. Germany, in particular, is a very clean and tidy country and often have quite stringent trash disposal rules. I suppose, therefore, if the towns are clean, people will take more pride in keeping their properties looking good. Thanks for the slide show.

  3. If you watch the whole slide show you can't miss the machine! : )
    Looks like you were in a fairy tale, Bonnie!
    I have one of those 4-tiered German pyramid nativities. It is one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
    I am so curious to know what DID fit in your carry-on to come home with you. What couldn't you resist?

  4. Thanks for the memories Bonnie. We were in Oberammergau a few years ago (in Sept) and have pictures of many of the same buildings.

  5. I have pictures of frescoed buildings from Paris and Warsaw as well-must be a European tradition-they are so lovely!

  6. i wish i could have come with you, everything you shared on here has been marvelous! i will not be joining in on the Quiltcam tonight... i will be in my bed and sleep as i am Dutch and live in the Netherlands. still, I wish you and everyone else a whole lot of fun with quiltcam and i'll watch this epp on youtube tomorrow morning!
    wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful evening
    lots of hugs from the Netherlands
    Winda from Winda's Liefde [ meaning Winda's love ]

  7. I LOVE those frescoes! They are so much prettier than the shutters that we have on homes here!... but I guess they wouldn't work for the brick (unless painted white) or siding homes we have.

    My parents were there for the last Passion Play They said it was totally awesome!... When the play was going on... as crowded as the streets were... you could still hear a pin drop. A very spiritual experience.

  8. I'm just loving your pictures, thank you for sharing them with us!! My husband's uncle used to make stain glass Moravian Stars for a shop in Bethlehem, PA. We've got a few of his special stars which hang off our mantel in California.

  9. I grew up in Gnadenhutten, a small town in Ohio that was also settled by Moravian missionaries in the late 1700's. In Gnadenhutten all the Moravian families hang a Moravian Star in their front window or on their front porch from the 1st day of Advent through Epiphany. Now I live in Seattle, and if there are other Moravians here, I don't know about them. For years, my star was lonely here. Now it's become a popular decoration. Do you know how the star came to be? It was originally thought up by a math teacher in a boy's school as a geometry puzzle. We learned how to make them by carefully drawing the frame design onto white cardboard, then cutting, creasing and gluing the cardboard into a ball shape and making each point out of heavy paper and gluing each point to the cardboard, leaving an opening in the top to place the lightbulb inside before placing the last point on top. I've always wanted to come to Winston Salem for a Moravian holiday.


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