Watch Oberammergau's Fiery Display Dedicated to the Fairy Tale King Ludwig
For more than 125 years, residents in the tiny German town of Oberammergau have commemorated the eve of the birth of the fairy-tale Bavarian King Ludwig II with a dramatic and fiery bonfire display, called the König-Ludwig-Feuer. The event takes place annually, on 24 August.
The focal point of the Ludwigsfeuer is the Kofel, Oberammergau’s distinctive mountain, which bears a slight resemblance to Switzerland’s more massive Matterhorn.
Atop the Kofel, male ‘fire-makers’ (Feuermachers) construct a 14-meter-tall wooden crown. On the Kofel’s slopes below, these men also craft a cross out of timber. And on surrounding mountaintops overlooking this valley in the Ammergau Alps, they create the abbreviation ‘L II’, short for King Ludwig the II. The Feuermachers are all locals, and many of them are descendants of past fire-makers. In all, there are about 90 of them.
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