Oberammergau – a village in the German Alps
Oberammergau is a village in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region and for sure one of the most famous one. It is after Garmisch the most important village in the region. The village is located in the Ammergauer Alps and known for it’s touristic importance.
The village of Oberammergau has a bit more than 5.500 inhabitants and is mostly know for their tourism destinations. With more than 400.000 tourists per year it is the most important industry for the region.
Located in the Ettal valley, formed by glaciers millions of years ago and surrounded by many mountains it allows to do many sports that are normally done in flat land, such as cross country skiing, etc. The area has also many natural highlights to be explored by hikers and people that just enjoy the mountains. Unfortunately due to its location in the middle of the mountains it is also one of the rainiest areas of Bavaria. Coming to Oberammergau is only possible by car, or bus, or with the small local train.
The easiest way to get there is with the train or car to Garmisch and then taking the turn to Ettl, or changing into buses to Oberammergau.
The nearest international airport is Munich, but there is also a small airport for private airplanes at Garmisch.
The village of Oberammergau is nowadays popular among all people for it’s passion plays, as well as for it’s woodcarver artists. Every ten years the passion plays are performed and wi unless there are any unforeseen events, such as wars, or Pandemic the passion play keeps a 10year distance between it’s performances. Close by are also two of the castles of King Ludwig: The Linderhof, King Ludwig’s only finished palace and not far from Oberammergau, in the Ettal valley, bedded in the middle of untouched nature and the Neuschwanstein palace, King Ludwig’s most famous palace, that also inspired Disney for it’s famous Disney palace.
In the winter time people come to this attractive village to experience the mountains for skiing, or learning to ski, or for cross country skiing and to enjoy the quietness of nature in a perfect winter wonder land.
Oberammergau shows the best of it’s culture and the bavarian faith. You will see numbers of wood carvers, one more talented than the other and almost all of them are happy to create a unique piece according to your ideas or wishes and by the many decorated houses that show the hundreds of years of history.
The first settlements in Oberammergau go most probably back to the time of the celts but there is no proven timing. The first proven settlement is from about 15 before christ, as there must have been a roman camp. The first proven settlements were from the 9th century after christ, as there was decided to make a abbey in the area of Oberammergau. In the 12th century the first church was constructed in the village of Oberammergau. In the 14th century the biggest abbey in the area, called Ettal was constructed and is until nowadays the most important one in the area. Since the 16th century the importance of the woods and the woodcarvers started to become one of the most important industries for the region. Besides that already the kings of Bavaria allowed here to charge taxes and controlled the hunting in this area.
In the 17th century, during the time of the 30years war the region and the village suffered very much by the traveling through of the imperial troops and by foreigners that settled in the area and occupied illegally land, as well as also tried to suppress the locals. For this reason the abbey of Ettal had a court until the 19th century.
In the year 1633 was the worst year as the imperial troops took everything that they could use, such as food, burning wood, wagons, etc and the black plaque arrived to the village. In this year over 80 people died due to the black plaque. The people had no idea what to do and found hope in the faith to god. This is the reason why the vow of a passion play was made if the village will overcome the black plaque. The first passion play was done in the following year of 1634. The passion play shows the last 5 days of the life of Jesus Christ. Since 1680 the passion play have been performed in a 10years’ rhythm. In the 20th century only two extra performances were made in the year 1934 and 1984 due to the 300 and 350th anniversary of the passion play. For 2034 another extra performance is already planned. Due to the pandemic of 2020, the passion play is postponed to 2022. The passion play allow only inhabitants from the village to be part of the performance. In the initial times all of the inhabitants were part of the stage, nowadays at least half of the inhabitants are involved, not only as actors but also everything around it. Since the 20th century the passion play has become also a political issue and therefore had to be changed several times. In 1960s the passion play had to be re-written because the Vatican approved that the jews were not the responsible people for the death of Jesus Christ. in the year 1990 the state of Bavaria decided that the actors have to be treated equally, meaning that married women and people of different religion must be given the chance to perform as well. In the passion play of 2020/2022 for the first time Jesus is performed by a muslim person, showing also the opening of the old traditions that only catholics and male inhabitants for already over 3 generations were allowed as actors. Each time before the performances huge discussions among the village happen and the tickets are sold out far in advance.
Since the year 1938 a military base has been in Oberammergau, hosting first the troops of the Wehrmacht, after the second world war the american troops and since the 1990s back to the German army and a big army facility was added. During the second world war a construction of Messerschmitt was constructed with more than 500 workers.
Nowadays tourism and the timber industry are the main industries, especially the performances of the passion play bring more than 500.000 tourist to village and is the biggest economical factor for the village.
Visiting the village of Oberammergau visitors will recognize the numerous wood carving artists, as well as the so called “Lüftlmalerei” on the houses in the center, showing the art of colored paintings on the house facades, mostly religious scenes and related to the passion plays. The name originated from the building, hosting the local museum, called Lueftl.
Tourists love the region for its natural beauty, as well as the quietness of nature and the traditional outlook of the village. New hotels are only allowed to be constructed if they follow traditional outlooks and if there are no over tourism happening. The area has as sights the abbey of Ettal, a show cheese factory and the palace of Linderhof and a mountain hut that has been constructed for the dream King LudwigII of Bavaria.
Tour Oberammergau, the Ettal and the King Ludwig castles
If you want to enjoy some great time in Oberammergau, book a tailor-made tour to Oberammergau with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vehicles, enjoy a guided tour through the village of Oberammergau and continue a nice drive through Germany and see the palace of Linderhof. So if you are planning to come to Oberammergau, or if you want to do a tour to from Salzburg to the palace of Linderhof, Neuschwanstein (the Disney castle) and the village of Oberammergau then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes a! Enjoy the fascinating area of Oberammergau – Passion Play and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – bespecialtours!
Salzburg during the second lockdown
A city trying to live during the pandemic
The following Text is a very personal statement from Gerlinde Maria Praher-Schneck, it is not a political or science post
If you now go through the streets of Salzburg, it feels uncomfortable. It is nearly empty, the shops are mainly closed in the main shopping Area of Salzburg Oldtown.
Since Tuesday we have a second lockdown due to COVID-19 Pandemic. But it is not the same like it was in March 2020. Very less people here are actual following the rules. They now know the tricks to go out even there is restriction of moving outside the own apartments or houses. It is allowed to go for a walk or doing sports. So the main people who were following the rules in spring are now going out like they ever did, washing their cars at the carwash, going to the supermarket to shop or just being out in nature or on the mountains.
What I personally miss is the “together we make it!” sense, which was here at the beginning of the year. In my personal opinion it gets more and more egoistic – as long as I am not infected, what should I longer smaller down my personal life.
We have three little kids, which grow up now in a world of face masks. My 3year one will not touch me, while wearing a mask – and of course she does not understand. She is not able to go to a childhood garden, as these are open – but it is just possible to bring her to the door and everyday you cannot be sure, that it is open longer. She miss playing with others or just the visit of her godmother and their son. I do not want to grow up my kids in this times. But they are here no – and the pandemic is.
It would be great to find a solution to life with – only vaccine will be for sure not the solution. It is very difficult for all the politics to find solutions and then being shouted by the other parties to do it wrong. In my opinion there is no right or wrong. It just should be a way to become comfortable and find a way to life all together with COVID-19.
We miss the tourists here in Salzburg, they always were a part of the city background of Salzburg. And we personally miss also travelling. The world changed. We will have to find a new way to handle with.
Perhaps we all share similar thoughts, perhaps completely different ones. It is all okay, the only thing I would bet – don’t forget – it is one World and we are all living in the same world.
winter in Salzburg!
Together we will make the tourism great again and are looking forward a nice new year, welcoming lots of guests again!
Cuckoo Clocks from Germany – a unique and traditional clock from the black forest
Traditionally the most famous cuckoo clocks come from the back forest area in Germany. Traditionally they are still made with all the experience and hand craft of the south western part of Germany.
The cuckoo clocks have many years of traditions and the noise has been so much perfected to come as close as possible to the real ones in nature.
The cuckoo clocks are not only a tool to see the clock but also should reflect the traditions, stories and experiences of the region.
a long-time tradition and development
The cuckoo’s clock tradition is for Germany some tradition that shows tradition at it’s best and stands for german preciseness and unvieled German coziness.
The cuckoo clock has been originated in the area of Schonach, where people live since the middle of the 18th. Century only from the cuckoo clock’s production. When it was developed the cuckoo clock had two advantages: 1. the clock worked for much more time than other traditional clocks and instead of ringing a bell, a cuckoo comes out to wake you up and telling you that another hour has passed. the inside of a cuckoo clock worked in the most traditional way and still does: The whole wheels and mechanism is made out of wood. The cuckoo clock’s nice producer is still made in the same way: a sound chamber out of wood and bellows with a paper air bulk to make the noise. The basic idea was to make a rooster to wake up the people and the servants in the morning to make sure that they start working on time on the fields. Since the kicker sound was not possible to make, the clock makers decided to just use two pipes and producing the typically sound of the cuckoo.
A typical cuckoo clock is made out of wood and shows the best preciseness that Germany has to offer.
purists swear that the cuckoo clock has to stay the same way as already over 250years ago. One of that producer has decided to make the mechanic open for everybody and just simply decided to make a cuckoo clock in an XXL version. It became the world’s biggest cuckoo clock, as big as a normal single family home.
The clock is as interesting and dark as the german history, decorated with latin numbers, oak wood, antlers, etc. Inside the mechanic is all made in wood and shows how a traditional black forest cuckoo clock has to be.
At each hour an 80 kilo cuckoo bird comes out and makes the typical sound.
Find below the pictures of the world’s biggest cuckoo clock, with an inside picture of the size and mechanic.
Therefore it has the risk of all the traditions: The best times are over but how do you make a classic still work and innovate in order to be still considered traditional. A classic will also work but can it be transformed also into the newest times?
There are nowadays several versions: 1st: the original one without any fancy new additions; 2nd: the ones made with moving figures and extra sound; 3rd the ones made out of quartz and just need a battery, also there you can have them with moving figures or not.
The world is changing and people changed their houses and also the cuckoo clock. There are now versions that are totally transparent, versions in light neon colors, or silver deer, etc.
Not everybody agreed with it but the main fact has to stay the same: The cuckoo noise and also the mechanic has to still work with the same principals, just more precise, etc than it was hundreds of years ago. The 150 single pieces still work in the same manner with a chain and weights at the end. The mechanic does not need any electronic or batteries. A normal movement has to work between 5-8 days and can last even longer without having to rewind it by pulling the weights the opposite way (one on top, the other one below). The gravity does the rest and is therefore very much eco friendly, as plastic and also lots of chemical is not used.
Nowadays the innovations show also that the tradition is still alive. It should not only show like a typical Grimm fairytale with wolfs and dark and dangerous forests but reflects the positivity of Germany: friendly and achieving sport success, as well as economical success. Around the cuckoo clock there has been lately another hype again but only the outside of the clock changes but the inside is still as traditionally as a german tradition can be and who knows what the future brings.
Drive with us up to the black forest and see why fairytales and cuckoo clock comes from here. See a factory and see the tradition and the new innovations. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Be Special Tours!
Innsbruck – a city in the heart of the Alps
Innsbruck is the main city of the region called Tyrol in Austria. It is the 5th biggest city in Austria and has a big university with over 30.000 students. The city is located in the Inn valley (that goes from the Arlberg area toward Germany / Bavaria). Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains and has in north the Nordkette, part of the Karwendel mountains and in the south the line central mountains with the Patscherkofel mountain. It is therefore also seen a one of the most interesting alpine towns as it is surrounded by mountains that can be as beautiful as imagined on clear days and as threatening as possible during cloudy days. The city of Innsbruck is in the valley at an altitude of 1.880 ft. above sea level and is surrounded by mountains that are over 7.800ft. above sea level. Therefore it is considered to be in the heart of the alps. In the south the Brenner pass is one of the most important passes in the alps where already roman troops and others traveled over to get to the area north of the alps. Through the Inn valley most people traveled then on to the area of Rosenheim, where the valley opens then to more smooth hills to the north, east and west. there is also a pass towards the north but historically not as much used. Nowadays if you come by train to Innsbruck from Munich or Italy, you will either go through the inn valley, or over the Brenner pass to get to Innsbruck.
Also an airport has been opened in Innsbruck but only with a special training pilots are allowed to land due to the thermal winds that happen some few times at this airport.
The city of Innsbruck is nowadays popular among all people that are interested in winter sports. Innsbruck was also for two times location of the winter olympic games and holds within the city area every year the world cup of ski jumping. A very thrilling event.
In the summer time people come to this attractive city to experience the mountains very close by and to reach up to the mountains by cable car, funicular, car and hiking. Another attraction is definitely to see also the mountain zoo of Innsbruck were rare animals of the alps are shown.
Innsbruck also brings you back in time with many attractions and historically buildings that show you the importance of Innsbruck in former times. One of the most important building in the town is the city’s landmark: The golden roof.
The first settlements in Innsbruck go back to 3.000 years ago when settlements were found around the center of Innsbruck. The romans arrived at about 15 before christ to make there a military station against invaders. It was only destroyed then in the 7th century. The main church of Tirol was located at Brixen in South Tyrol which used to be part of Tyrol until the first World war when the southern part of Tyrol (including most parts of the Dolomites) became Italy and the area of Tyrol was separated. Innsbruck itself has the first proofed settlement at the beginning of the 12th century when also the first bridge over the Inn River was established in Innsbruck, therefore also the name of the bridge over the Inn. Since the 13th century the city right has been given to Innsbruck and soon the connection to the Habsburg family was given. This meant for the city a very strategically position since everybody that passed over the Brenner from Italy, or that needed to go to Italy had to pass the bridge at Innsbruck and tolls were the biggest income for the city. Therefore already in the 15th century the golden roof has been constructed to show also the richness of the city.
This meant also that in the 16th century the biggest military base in Austria has been established to prevent foreign armies to invade the area. Also by that time the beginning of the postal system has been established together with the family Tassis from Italy to send letter and announces into the Habsburg empire by horse riders and knights. Members of the family Tassis married then into the german house of Thurn and became then the inventors of the postal system as we know it nowadays.
Since the 19th century the railway through the Inn valley is operating and connect Woergl, Kufstein, Innsbruck with Germany and since the end of the 19th century also over the Brenner pass and the Arlberg mountain to Switzerland.
The 20th century leaded to drastically changes in Innsbruck: After the first world war Tyrol was divided in North tyrol, South Tyrol and led to a lot of people that fled from south tyrol to Innsbruck where they found new places to stay. After the second world war Innsbruck was under the rule of the Americans that helped to rebuild the city, the university and the airport. Already in 1948 the first helicopter for search and rescue was placed in Innsbruck and it is until nowadays the most important station of these helicopters within the alps.
In 1964 and 1976 Innsbruck was the place where the olympic winter games have taken place. Still nowadays some stadiums and locations can be found, even if adapted to nowadays times. The winter sport plays still the most important role in the area. Skiing areas are very close by and all famous skiing or snowboard brands are sold in the locations. Another very famous company in this area is Swarovski in the nearby Wattens where also a museum can give more inside about the factory, history and products.
Innsbruck is famous for its touristically area being directly in the middle of Northern tyrol with all famous ski resorts within the area. Innsbruck is the center of the trading in the area and on the main road to get from north to south in Europe. One of the biggest industry in Innsbruck has been the production of Loden (made of thick, water-resistant woolen material with a short pile). Nowadays the production is still going on but not any more so important as it used to be. Besides that the city of Innsbruck hosts many hospitals, university students and international tourists. Tourism is the biggest income for the city and lots of efforts are done to keep everything clean, safe and nice so that many more tourists come to this region. The importance that Innsbruck used to have is shown in all the beautiful buildings in the city and also by the summer residences of the Habsburg family, like castle of Ambras, the Hofburg of Innsbruck, the golden roof, an the castle of Hungerburg (getting there by funicular). Visitable at any time is also the skiing jump that holds the world cup within the city and the alpine zoo in the north of Innsbruck which hosts one of the finest collection of alpine animals within the alps and which is the highest zoo (at about 2.250 ft. above sea level) in Europe. Each year lots of sportive events take place in the winter time in Innsbruck, such as the world cup for ski jumping, the air & Style contest, a snowboard jump contest and the world cup of sledging in the ice track of Innsbruck.
Innsbruck is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also is a town directly within the heart of the alps. You can see that mountains and sports are so close and still it is on the main traffic route between north and south and from Switzerland to the eastern part of Austria. It is to show how impressive mountains are and can be combined so perfectly with a city in the middle of the Inn valley, where you can explore the history of the winter olympic games and other mountain sports. But do not miss out to visit the city not only in the heart of the old town but also from one of the surrounding mountains, like the Berg Isl, the Hungerburg funicular, or the Norkettenbahn. Visit Innsbruck and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of traditions, mountains and nature – bespecialtours!
Innsbruck city tours and Innsbruck tour
If you want to enjoy some great time in Innsbruck, book a private tour to Innsbruck with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Innsbruck and continue a nice drive through Germany and Austria. So if you are planning to come to Innsbruck, or if you want to Visit the city of Innsbruck and the Inn river valley and the alp’s mountains coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes a! Enjoy the fascinating city of Innsbruck – Innsbruck and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – bespecialtours!
The Ferdinand Porsche Museum calles Fahr(T)raum in Mattsee, Salzburg
There is a great and new museum in the area: The Fahr(T)raum, north of Salzburg shows you the innovation and the most famous creations of Ferdinand Porsche.
We are sure you that everybody who likes vehicles, or is a fan of innovations and some great memories will love this place. It is a place for young and more mature “children”, or just a feast for the inner child to get ideas and how to realize them.
a fascination of technique, Innovation and Creations
The Fahr(T)raum in Mattsee combines many things: One of the first car creation from Ferdinand Porsche, to trucks and tractors that he developed, as well as his creations of cars during the first and second world war and the different milestones of Ferdinand Porsches innovation’s career. You will discover many new things and aspects about this innovative man and learn definitely a lot.
Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 and moved to Vienna where he went to a higher technical school and participated at some lectures (without being inscribed to the University) at the technical University go Vienna. He learned there some basics and tried immediately to put it into practice. Already in 1893 he worked for an electrical company in Vienna and his career developed quickly. He started to develop already the first hub engine and patented it in 1896. In 1899 he worked for the Lohner company where he developed the Lohner Porsche, the first electrical car, the first 4wheel drive and the first hybrid car. In 1906 he moved to Austro Daimler where developed the first passenger cars, flight engines and sportive cars. In 1908 he won the first reliability race and many sportive cars until 1923 when he moved to Daimler Mercedes in Stuttgart where he even became part of the board of Directors. In 1928 he dropped out of Mercedes Daimler and opened his own construction and design office. During the second world war he developed the KdF car which was also used for the VW beetle and the collaboration continues until in 1946 he decided to construct with his son Ferry the first Porsche, the model 356 in Austria. He remained in Austria while his son founded the Porsche company in Stuttgart. He died in 1951 and was buried in the family estate in Zell am See, close to Salzburg.
The museum shows a long history, has many installations with more background and side exhibitions of the history and achievements of Ferdinand Porsche.
opening of the Fahrtraum museum in Mattseee by Ernst and Elisabeth Piece
The fascination of antique cars and machines
The exhibition of these cars is in an old storage hall but will be also added for a new exhibition space to show also the airplanes and the engines that Ferdinand Porsche developed. The most surprising part for us is to see that many technologies that we are now selling as new ideas have already existed and have been developed. Nowadays we have evolved some of the achievements of Ferdinand Porsche but in the basis it is still the same. The Hub engine are used in the formula1 but who know if that is also coming back in future cars.
But the museum does not only show the innovations of Ferdinand Porsche, also besides cars but has one of the biggest collection Porsche tractors and also some of the trucks that Ferdinand Porsche has helped. Besides the machines and cars there are many things to entertain also the younger, or remained younger guests with a live race of vintage cars, one of the biggest public Carrera race track to play with and to experience the fascination of mobile technology.
The Fahr(T)raum at Mattsee also offers a unique experience for most of the museums: You can also book a drive around the lake district area with one of the antique cars to experience how driving was in former times. The roads were unfortunately not as good as we have them nowadays but the experience of driving on nowadays roads with an antique car is unique and definitely special. You will also experience and see some of the best picture spots of the northern lake district area of Salzburg.
Come and experience a unique museum and get inspired for innovations and new technologies. Maybe you will also see that the boarder of not developing a new thing is mostly our imagination and not the possibility to create something new. A dream can also be to just not growing up and keeping the toys or to create something lasting for the next generations.
Before the exit there is the possibility to enjoy a coffee in the cafeteria or to enjoy the library and looking through one of the books that bring you closer of how other people realized their dreams or their innovations.
Enjoy the world of Ferdinand Porsche and experience the drive with one of the antique cars: feel, smell and touch it.
Drive with us to Mattsee during a day tour from Salzburg and enjoy the tour with the combination f the Hanger7 and enjoy a pastry and soft drink on one of the nicest locations of the lake district area of Salzburg: The historical palace of Fuschl. Learn more about what Salzburg has to offer besides the town and it’s movie and musical history. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg, or Austria. Best regards and a good travel Be special Tours!