Home  |  News  |  Passion Play  |  Accomodations  |  Arts & Architecture  |  Sports & Fun  |  Service

  Arts & Architecture  
  Monastries and Churches  
  Oberammergau Museum  

  Oberammergau on the Internet:
  Skiing Resort Kolben Winter (German)
  Oberammergau Local Authority





The roots of Oberammergau's wood carvings go back to the Middle Ages. A manuscript dated 1111 first mentioned Rottenbucher monks who brought "…the Ammergau art of carving small household goods out of wood..." to the area of Berchtesgaden. The carving of religious figures most probably has its origins in the pilgrimage to Ettal.


Former Travelling salesmen, the
"Kraxenträger", spread the
wood carvings through
the whole of Europe

In his travel report dated 1520, a Florentine traveller praises the fineness of the Oberammergau carvings. In 1563, the Ammergau carvers even received a Handicrafts Code of their own from the Abbot of Ettal. Although the carvings were sold mostly locally at that time, many distributing houses were set up in the 18th century with branches all over Europe. From these distributing houses, travelling salesmen, the so-called "Kraxenträger", took over selling the goods from doorstep to doorstep.

Today there are about 120 wood sculptors in Oberammergau, actively carving and selling a large variety of wooden artefacts, from figures of saints to household goods. Furthermore, a Carvers School in town offers courses providing specialist training for wood carvers.

Those who are interested in finding out more about the formation of the artefacts before buying them should visit the "Pilatushaus". In the afternoon one can watch the carvers at work and witness the "birth" of a wooden figure.

Detailled information on handicraft in Oberammergau can be taken from the guide "Kunsthandwerk in Oberammergau" (in German). (order here)

Some of the woodcarvers from Oberammergau are also present in the web:

For more information or special requests please contact us at !





Ammergauer Alpen GmbH
Eugen-Papst-Str. 9a   82487 Oberammergau
Tel: +49 (0) 8822 / 922 740  Fax: +49 (0) 8822 / 922 745

Logo Ammergauer Alpen
Homepage Ammergauer Alpen