Silent Night or was first sung in 1818 in the chapel at the St. Nikola Church in Oberndorf near Salzburg, Austria  by Joseph Mohr, a priest from Salzburg, and Franz Xaver Gruber, a teacher from Upper Austria. “Silent Night” has also been listed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
We started our Silent Night tour visiting the school where the lyrics to the sound were first written. The school is located in Arnsdorf near Oberndorf: It was here that Franz Xaver Gruber composed the melody to “Silent Night” at the schoolhouse. Today, the schoolhouse is home to a museum.







Kitchen





View from a distance...


Then it was off to Oberndorf bei Salzburg where the Silent Night Chapel (Stille-Nacht-Kapelle) is located. The city is paired with a sister city of the other side of the Salzach river divides Austria from Germany...






Afterwards it was time to head to the Chapel...

Crowds gathering outside the Chapel...















Cannon fire announcing that the activities would soon start...


Interior of the Chapel



At 5 PM the activities started with various dignitaries giving speeches, mostly in German with a few in English. Several other Christmas carols were sung and then at 545 the main event started with six stanzas of the hymn sung by a choir and then the crowd joining in...











We returned to Salzburg on the S1 which took us to Salzburg Hbf in less than half an hour... Overall this is a great event which united individuals from cultures all over the world into a moment of peace and a desire for a better world... The hymn has been translated to over 300 languages and has been an integral part of the Christmas season for the past two hundred years...

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