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Silent Night Chapel

The Silent Night Chapel (Stille-Nacht-Kapelle) is located in the town 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 composer, Franz Xaver Gruber. It stands in place of the former St. Nicholas Church, where on 24 December 1818 the Christmas carol was performed for the first time.


Flood of 1899

The church St. Nicholas has been damaged several times in the 1890s by flooding 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 place Oberndorf, including the parish church of St. Nicholas to build about 800 m upstream again.

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.

Old St. Nicholas Church

The 100th anniversary of the song in December 1918 fell into the difficult time immediately after the 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 in the 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 carol and sung in the many languages of the visitors and seen as unifying experience. Since 2002, this celebration is transmitted by means of the local webcam on the Internet.


The chapel is an octagon in form with a bell helmet and a lantern, and the portal has an abgewalmtes canopy. The arched windows were created in 1935 by the Tyrolean Stained Glass. The high altar with a relief Nativity is the sculptor Hermann Hutter from 1915. A Predellenrelief Adoration of the Magi, Crucifixion, escape from Egypt is the sculptor Max Domenig from 1936.[1]


Replica models of the Silent Night Chapel exist in the leisure park Mini Mundus at Klagenfurt in Carinthia (1:25 scale) and the model park Mönichkirchen in Lower Austria. Furthermore, there is a 1:1 scale replica in Frankenmuth in the U.S. state of Michigan.


  • Dehio manual. The historical monuments of Austria: Salzburg. Town and country. Oberndorf bei Salzburg. Silent Night Memorial Chapel. Bundesdenkmalamt (eds.), Verlag Anton Schroll & Co, Vienna, 1986, ISBN 3-7031-0599-2, page 290

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Coordinates: 47°56′44″N 12°56′11″E / 47.9455°N 12.9364°E / 47.9455; 12.9364