Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberammergau

Europe: Germany
Distances Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Munich 90 km
Fussen 60 km
Oberammergau 17 km
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 26,600 inhabitants (2005); 708 m above sea-level
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is located at the foot of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany (2962 m/9724 ft), and is both one of the principal climatic health spas in the Bavarian Alps and Germany's premier winter sports metropolis. The city hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics and the 1978 World Championship and offers pristine nature, secluded spots, cultural and culinary highlights, new experiences, relaxation, wellness, and upscale shopping. A wide range of sports is available in both summer and winter. You can also pamper yourself with spa treatments, such as ayurveda, thalasso, natural hay baths and numerous health therapies.

Garmisch has some 1000 establishments, ranging from one to five stars, ready to meet your every need. You have your choice of rustic inns, cozy bread & breakfast, farms, holiday apartments, or hotels.

A walk through the streets and lanes of Garmisch-Partenkirchen will give you a feel for the town's very special combination of international flair and Bavarian tradition. Elegant boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops carry both traditional crafts and original souvenirs, and are the perfect place for an afternoon's shopping.

Night owls will enjoy the many clubs, bistros, discos, and bars, or can go gambling and try their luck in the Bavarian Casino.

In a wide valley surrounded by mountains, meadows, and forests, the tiny Alpine town of Oberammergau is home to the world-famous Passion Play. After the town was spared from a plague that swept through Europe in 1633, the inhabitants promised to re-enact the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ every 10 years, the next performance is scheduled for the summer of 2010.

The cast is composed of about 1000 locals, who begin rehearsing far in advance, often growing long hair hand beards. The plays last all day, with a short break for bretzels, Wurst, and beer around noon.

Through the town is quieter in non-performance years, hiking trails, impressive handiwork of the town's myriad woodcarvers, and the nearby Scloss Linderhof and Ettal Abbey provide plenty see and do.

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