König-Ludwig-Fire

Fire on top of the Ammergau Alps are emblazed to honor King Ludwigs birthday at 24th August

© Eberhard Starosczik

King Ludwig II loved Oberammergau and its citizens love him. Every year on the night before his birthday on the 24th of August, bonfires in the shape of Ludwig s symbols are lit on mountains of the Ammergauer Alps. On the Hausberg Kofel a crown is lit to honour Ludwig II.

Committed men busy themselves for weeks before hand by carrying logs of firewood for the cross up the Hausberg.

On the eve of the 24th they also erect a large crown. At nightfall (around 9 pm) the brass band from Oberammergau plays the choral 'Die Himmel rühmen to commemorate Ludwig II. After this the bonfires on the mountains are lit and they can be seen for miles around. While the fires gradually die out, a procession of torchbearers makes its way down into the town. Once in town the celebration begins in earnest and does not end till the morning.