Silent Night Chapel in Oberndorf near Salzburg
The birthplace of “Silent Night!”
The Silent Night Chapel – modest, white and small – stands in the small town of Oberndorf, close to Salzburg. Despite its unassuming appearance, every year it draws thousands of visitors from around the world. For it was at this historic location that the song “Silent Night!” was first performed.
On Christmas Eve 1818, to be precise. As it captivated listeners for the very first time, no one could possibly have imagined that this song, penned by pastor Joseph Mohr and his friend, composer Franz Xaver Gruber, would bring such joy to the rest of the world in years to come. Thus it was that the place where it began, the chapel, became a memorial site for this Christmas song and a magnet for countless people wanting to experience its magic for themselves.
Historical facts about the world-famous Silent Night Chapel
Originally, the church of Saint Nicholas stood on the site of today’s Silent Night Chapel, built in the 12th century to serve the spiritual needs of the flourishing shipping industry on the River Salzach. However, after the church had suffered severe damage from multiple floods, it was decided to tear down the centuries-old parish church and build a new chapel in its place. So it was that, in 1937, after twelve years of building, the Silent Night Memorial Chapel was finally consecrated, standing upon the debris pile which had been left behind by the old St. Nicholas’ Church. More than one hundred years after its first performance, the song “Silent Night!” was at last given a new home in the town where it was born, Oberndorf, in the form of the chapel we know and love today.
Silent Night Chapel: excursion destination during Advent
The memorial chapel and the museum right next door become a magnet for visitors from around the world during Advent season especially. Every year at 5 pm on Christmas Eve, a memorial mass is held, with the famous carol sung in several languages.
The two windows of this charming chapel depict the spiritual fathers of this Christmas song, Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber. The altar is decorated with a wooden relief created in 1915 by Hermann Hutter.
The chapel is open daily throughout the year between 8:30 am and 6 pm. By arrangement, guided tours are offered to groups of 25 or more.
Experience the magic of Advent in Salzburger Land: Aside from the numerous Christmas markets and folk traditions in Salzburg and surrounding communities, the Silent Night Chapel in Oberndorf is one of the top sightseeing attraction during Advent.
Spend your holidays in Eugendorf, just a half-hour from Oberndorf and right at the gateway to Salzburg City. Here, you will find a peaceful setting, as well as an ideal base for all of your activities and outings. Eugendorf’s hosts look forward to seeing you here!