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Salzburg Christmas Market at Cathedral Square with the Salzburg Christkind | © Salzburger Christkindlmarkt / wildbild

Showpieces of Advent: 200 years "Silent Night!"

In the night of 24 December 1818, the famous Christmas song “Silent Night, Holy Night!” was performed for the very first time, at a small chapel in Oberndorf just outside Salzburg. Today, 200 years later, this song is as much a part of Christmas as cookies and gifts under the tree. As we trace the story of how this Christmas classic came to be, we quickly encounter the city of Salzburg itself, where Joseph Mohr, the man who penned the words of the song, was born.

Wonderful Advent: Christmas Markets in 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. The small christmas market on the Fortress Hohensalzburg also holds many magic moments - and a spectacular view on the city!

Salzburg celebrates 200 years of “Silent Night!”
The program surrounding the anniversary of the song "Silent Night!" holds many highlights in and around Salzburg:

  • 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.

Further information on the program for 2018

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