200 years of "Silent Night"

Since its first performance in Austria in 1818, “Silent Night” has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects, spreading its message of peace and making it the most famous of all Christmas carols. From Advent 2017, Austria's provinces of SalzburgerLand, Tirol and Upper Austria will be celebrating its 200th anniversary. They will be honouring the song with special highlights and inviting visitors from all over the world to take part in a unique experience.

On 24th December 1818, Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber sang "Silent Night" for the first time. It was first performed by the two in Oberndorf's St Nikola church near Salzburg. The poem had been written by Mohr, a young pastor from Salzburg, two years earlier and the melody was composed by the teacher and organist Gruber from Upper Austria. Its powerful message of peace has been bringing people together across borders, language barriers and religions for centuries. Today it is considered a song for world peace and was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.

Starting from Advent 2017, its 200year-anniversary will be celebrated in the 13 Silent Night locations across SalzburgerLand, Tirol and Upper Austria with museum openings, special exhibitions and numerous events, bringing its history to life and enabling guests from all over the world to enjoy an authentic holiday experience on the traces of "Silent Night".

Two highlights are:

  • The decentralised national exhibition in nine Silent Night locations and museums which takes place from 29th September 2018 to 2nd February 2019.
  • The new stage piece, composed by American film composer and Emmy award-winner John Debney and directed by Andreas Gergen, well known for his successful production of "The Sound of Music". It will premiere at Felsenreitschule, Salzburg, on 24th November 2018.

For further information on the origins of "Silent Night" and the anniversary celebrations, visit: www.stillenacht.com.
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© SalzburgerLand Tourismus SalzburgerLand
© Franz Xaver Gruber Gemeinschaft Oberösterreich
© Stille Nacht Gesellschaft SalzburgerLand
© Tourismus Salzburg Gmbh
© Heimat- und Museumsverein Fügen Fügen

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