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Silent Night! Holy Night!

A world-famous Christmas song from Salzburg

It was at Christmastime 1818 when, in a small church in Salzburger Land, a song was first heard whose words and melody are known by practically every child around the world: the Christmas carol “Silent Night!”. Since that time, it has been translated into more than 330 different languages and dialects, embodying the magic of this festive Christian celebration unlike any other musical work. In Oberndorf near Salzburg, where Silent Night Chapel stands, and during Advent especially, you will be able to experience the extraordinary atmosphere that radiates from the cradle of this Christmas song.

How this classic Christmas song was born

Franz Xaver Gruber was a teacher, sacristan and organist in the neighboring village of Arnsdorf. In 1816, he also took over the role of organist in Oberndorf, where he got to know Joseph Mohr. Together, the two of them created a legend during Christmastime 1818: the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!”. Joseph Mohr wrote the words, Gruber composed the melody to accompany them, originally scored for two solo voices, choir and guitar accompaniment. Finally, the song received its first performance during a Christmas Eve service at St. Nicholas’ Church in Oberndorf.

Silent Night travels around the world

From Salzburg, the song first made its way to Zillertal in Tyrol, and from there across the rest of Europe and over “the pond” to America. Ultimately, Christian missionaries brought the Christmas song to Africa, to New Zeeland and South America. And so it was that, bit by bit, this modest little Christmas song managed to enchant people in every corner of the globe.

Text of “Silent Night! Holy Night!”

The full version of “Silent Night!” consists of 6 verses. The most commonly performed are these 3:

Verse of Silent Night! Holy Night!
Original Silent Night verse

1st Verse

Silent Night! Holy Night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace!

2nd Verse

Silent Night! Holy Night!
Mindful of mankind's plight
The Lord in Heav'n on high decreed
From earthly woes we would be freed
Jesus, God's promise for peace.
Jesus, God's promise for peace.

3rd Verse

Silent Night! Holy Night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from Heaven afar,
Heavenly Hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!

Visit the Silent Night town of Oberndorf from here in Eugendorf

Oberndorf, the birthplace of “Silent Night!”, radiates a unique atmosphere during Advent. Stroll through the small Advent market, visit the chapel and the museum, and send personal festive wishes from the Christmas post office. The moving highlight comes on Christmas Eve, with the traditional annual “Silent Night Memorial Service” next to the chapel.

2018 promises very special highlights, since this year also marks the 200-year anniversary of “Silent Night!”.

Barely thirty minutes from Oberndorf and about a quarter-hour from Salzburg, here in Eugendorf you are able to enjoy a pleasant stay in a family-style atmosphere. Choose the holiday home-away-from-home you prefer from a wide selection of accommodations ranging from simple B&Bs and holiday apartments, to 3- and 4-star hotels, as you look forward to a magical stay with us here in beautiful Salzburger Land.

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