200 Years Ago Today Silent Night Was First Performed at St. Nikola Church in Oberndorf, Austria

Two hundred years ago tonight Silent Night was first performed in Oberndorf’s St. Nikola Church in 1818.

Silent Night is the most famous Christmas song in the world.
Even Maria von Trapp and her Family sang it in front of the White House in Washington after World War II to get money for careboxes to be sent to Austria.

On 24th December 1818, Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber sang “Silent Night” in Oberndorf near Salzburg for the first time. The poem was written by Mohr, a young pastor from Salzburg, and the melody was composed by the teacher and organist Gruber from Upper Austria. The Salzburg-born Joseph Mohr wrote the touching poem stanzas of “Silent Night” as a young assistant priest in Mariapfarr in Salzburg’s Lungau region in 1816. Two years later he met the teacher Franz Xaver Gruber in Oberndorf and requested that he compose a melody for the poem. “Silent Night” was first performed by the two in Oberndorf’s St. Nikola church.


The 200 year anniversary of what has become the world’s most famous Christmas carol will be celebrated in the 13 Silent Night locations across SalzburgerLand, Tirol and Upper Austria with museum openings, special exhibitions, a new stage play and numerous events, enabling guests from all over the world to enjoy an authentic holiday experience on the traces of “Silent Night”. Not many people know that it originated in SalzburgerLand, that Franz Xaver Gruber was born and raised in Upper Austria, and that the carol was spread via Tirol.

Here is one of the more famous versions of Silent Night ever recorded – The Temptations – Silent Night (a Temptations Montage)

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