Monday, July 15, 2013

Oberammergau and the Praying Hands. . .

We left Munich and drove southwest towards the Bavarian Alps, which is south-central Germany. We made a quick stop in Oberammergau and I was on a mission. Growing up, there was always a small, wooden piece of art hanging in our home. It was just a fixture. I never had any questions about it. I called it the Praying Hands. Sometime after my mom died, I noticed that I didn't notice it anywhere again. One of my sisters recently told me the history behind the piece. It came from Germany and belonged to my mother. She had lived there for a few years during high school while her parents were working there. Oberammergau is famous for their wooden art as well as for the Passion play they perform once every ten years. I was more interested in the hand-carved praying hands. We arrived thirty minutes before the businesses were to close, so we quickly hit up a few stores and found our treasures. This isn't the exact piece I have, but it's pretty close. As a kid, I always wondered what the symbols in the corner meant. Recently I learned that the letters are the initials for Albrecht Durer, the artist who created the image of the praying hands in 1508.
You almost need a magnifying glass to see the cross on the top of this mountain. It was only after I uploaded my pictures to my computer that I noticed the natural cross on the flat face of the mountain! I just sat there and stared. How beautiful! It's incredible how much it contrasts with the white rock behind it. 
I loved the style of homes and businesses in the smaller villages in southern Germany.
Restaurant. . .
We spent less than an hour in Oberammergau, but it was great. If we had had more time, I would have stayed, but our hour was sufficient. It was a cute village!

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