Celebrate 200 Years of “Silent Night!” in Salzburg

Photo Credit: Tourismus Salzburg

At no other time of year is Salzburg more magical than in Advent. During the run-up to Christmas, the city is transformed into a unique Christmas fairy tale of world-famous Christmas markets and traditional events that are role models for the entire Alpine world. The absolute classics include the Christkindlmarkt on the Dom- and Residenzplatz, which, with its over 525-year history and around 100 exhibitors, is one of the oldest and most beautiful Advent markets in the world. This year’s “Silent Night!” theme will be clear for everyone to see, and hear, in 2018. Choir performances, readings, concerts and daily Christmas tours all revolve around this beloved Christmas song.

Hellbrunn Advent Magic captivates visitors from around the world year after year. The palace façade reconceived as an oversized Advent calendar, 400 Christmas trees decked out with 13,000 red balls and an 8-meters-tall Christmas angel guarantee a magical Christmas experience far removed from the commercialization you encounter elsewhere.

Salzburg celebrates 200 years of “Silent Night!”

Not far from Salzburg City – in the small shipping town of Oberndorf – the world-famous song “Silent Night!” resounded for the very first time at Christmas 1818. The melody was composed by teacher Franz Xaver Gruber, while the text was penned by young priest Joseph Mohr, who was born and grew up in Salzburg City. In honor of its bicentennial, the song and its message of peace will take their rightful place in numerous events during the run-up to Christmas.

-From 24 November to 18 December 2018, the musical “Silent Night Story”, which was written by John Debney to mark the anniversary, will be performed at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg.

-The traditional Salzburg Advent Singing introduces its own special production focused on the same “Silent Night” theme, running at the Grosses Festspielhaus from 30 November until 16 December 2018.

From 28 September 2018 to 03 February 2019, visitors to the Salzburg Museum will be able to peruse the special exhibition “Silent. Night. 200. Creation, Message & Commerce.” In keeping with the six verses of the song, the exhibition comprises six thematic spaces. It depicts the musical qualities of the song, its dissemination, the biographies of its creators, as well as its political and commercial exploitation. The Salzburg Museum has in its possession two original manuscripts, one each from Mohr and Gruber. The story of this exhibition unfolds around these two valuable pieces, combining original objects with spatial and audio installations. Guests are treated to sensory experiences of this hit song, which has been a “chart topper” around the world for the past 200 years.

Read more about Salzburg’s 2018 program by visiting salzburg.info.