Skip to main content

Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Oberammergau 1870-1922

Life and Passion

Poetic and dramatic, staged and captured in masterly fashion by the pioneers of photography, the Oberammergau Passion Plays as they looked at the end of the 19th century, are here collected in a single volume of photos, some of them never before shown to the public. They are from the private archives of the Lang family.

The beginnings of what are today the world-famous Passion Plays in Oberammergau go back a long way. In the plague year of 1633, the inhabitants of the village vowed to stage regular plays telling the story of Christ’s Passion. Ever since photography was invented, the event, held every ten years, has been documented on film. The photographers, including the Oberammergau pioneer Korbinian Christa, captured a now long-lost world in their pictures. 

Even today, the shots, taken between 1870 and 1922, of everyday and theater scenes, performers and children, woodcarvers, local costumes, visitors, and locals exercise a huge fascination. The focus is always on the multifariousness of the village and its inhabitants. The combination of poetry and staged drama revealed in these photographs creates a special and unusual tension shown through the selection and comparison of pictures. Also presented for the first time in this volume are previously unseen hand-coloured glass transparencies.

128 pages | 97 color plates and 13 halfton | 10 3/4 x 13 1/3

Art: Art--General Studies

Hirmer Publishers image

View all books from Hirmer Publishers

Table of Contents

Combined German/English Edition

Passion Photographed: Oberammergau and its Passion Play in an Early Light
      Hans-Michael Koetzle
      Annette von Altenbockum
Oberammergau 2010: Interview with Brigitte Maria Mayer
      Antonia Walther

The Authors

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press