Silent Night (Stille-Nacht-Kapelle)

The Silent Night Chapel

The Silent Night Chapel (Stille-Nacht-Kapelle) is located in the town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg in the Austrian province of Salzburg, and is a monument to the Christmas carol Silent Night and its librettist, Joseph Mohr and its composer, Franz Xaver Gruber. It stands on the site of the former St Nicholas’s Church, where on 24 December 1818 the Christmas carol was performed for the first time.

The church of St. Nicholas was damaged several times in the 1890s by flooding of the Salzach – especially by that of 1899, while the predominantly the district Altach destroyed a large part of the town and. This led to the conclusion that the whole of Oberndorf, including the parish church of St Nicholas, needed to be rebuilt about 800 m upstream.

Of refurbishment of damaged St. Nikola Church was apart for two reasons: On the one spared the costs and the threat of continued risk of flooding, on the other hand you wanted the church to accept the built in 1906, move less attractive church in the new town center. Thus, the old parish church was demolished in 1913 and only remembered a debris cone at the historical origin of the now-famous Christmas song far and wide.

The 100th anniversary of the song in December 1918 fell at a difficult time immediately after World War I. The more wanted to put the message of peace Mohr and Gruber, a monument to the citizens of Oberndorf. Adopted in 1924, but construction of a memorial chapel was under the difficult conditions (political and economic crises of the First Republic) slowly in the phase of realization. Ultimately, the construction was completed on August 15, 1937 (Assumption). Meanwhile, the Memorial Chapel was the visible symbol of the song Silent Night.

Every year, around the Memorial Chapel and Museum beside it, especially at Christmas, there are thousands of visitors from around the world. On the 24th of December, every year by 17:00 (5:00 p.m.), a solemn memorial mass is held at the church, and the carol is sung in the many languages of the visitors and seen as a unifying experience. Since 2002, this celebration has been transmitted by means of the local webcam on the Internet. Wiki


Caroline Catherine McNicholas 2nd October 1957 – 3rd January 2022

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