Silent Night Museum Oberndorf
On two floors of the former parsonage, Silent Night Museum Oberndorf presents numerous exhibits and fascinating background documentation about the world-famous Christmas song “Silent Night!”
The Origin of a Christmas Carol
On 24 December 1818, the song “Silent Night” by Joseph Mohr (who penned the words) and Franz Xaver Gruber (the composer) was heard by the public for the very first time. In order to commemorate that special night, today’s Silent Night Chapel was built and officially opened in 1937 on the very same site as the former St. Nicholas’ Church where it was originally performed. Every year, a memorial service in honor of the song’s creators is held at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve in front of the Gruber-Mohr monument.
The Focus of the Museum
Right next to the chapel, the old parsonage – where Joseph Mohr had lived from 1817 to 1819 – was turned into the Silent Night Museum. On a total area of 260 m², visitors are treated to a complete overview of the story behind this world-famous Christmas song, including the history of St. Nicholas’ Church, where the song was first performed, as well as milestones in the lives of Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber. The astonishing spread of “Silent Night! around the globe is yet another theme addressed by the museum.
A Museum for Big and Small
Many different multimedia displays make it even easier for visitors to immerse themselves in the story of how this Christmas song was born, including life as it was back in those times. One special highlight is a karaoke station, which gives younger and older visitors an opportunity to personally experiment with various musical and linguistic versions of the song. An educational area on the top floor is also available to host workshops and school visits.