Oberammergau in the Ammergau Alps is a municipality in the Upper Bavarian district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is world famous for the Oberammergau Passion Plays. The villagers of Oberammergau reenact the last five days in the life of Jesus in a performance lasting several hours. Since 1680 the Passion Plays have been held every ten years, usually in the last year of a decade. The performance scheduled for 2020 has had to be postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After the Second World War, with several ropeways already operating in nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a group of Ammergau citizens decided in 1955 to build a ropeway on the Laber. This 1,684 m high mountain, which is known as the “Balcony of the Pre-Alps”, offers splendid views of the Ester and Wetterstein mountain ranges and of the Ammergau Alps. Today, the Laber is the starting point for five signposted hiking trails, while the summit restaurant, with 150 seats on the terrace and 50 inside, is an attraction in its own right. The Laber is also a mecca for paraglider and hang-glider enthusiasts.
The contract for the construction of the ropeway was awarded to the relatively unknown and long since defunct Peter Seilbahnen company of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Laber Cable Car opened on February 21, 1957 as the third ropeway built by the company after the Graseck Cable Car in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is still operating today, and the Kranzberg Summit Lift (both designed as reversibles). The system chosen for the Laber Cable Car combined the advantages of a reversible with those of a gondola ropeway. It operates with four 11-passenger cabins continuously circulating on a 2 km line. The cabins have eight-wheel carriages for travel along the track rope and are attached to the haul rope with cast sockets, so that the haul rope consists of four sections, each about one kilometer long. Although modern tricable ropeways operate with cabins for up to 35 passengers, 60 years ago a cabin for eleven persons was considered a large cabin.