What do Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg have in common?
Silent Night, Holy Night and Salzburg have a lot in common. We found that out in Salzburg: in Salzburg the novel Joseph Mohr, the author of the probably most famous Christmas carol in the world - Silent Night, Holy Night - born. However, this did not happen in the house in Steingasse No. 9 in the poor people's quarter of Salzburg below the Kapuzinerberg on the north bank of the Salzach, where a large sign on the house wall announces it. As Inez Reichl, our Salzburg city guide, assures us, this happened a few doors down Steingasse.
Outside the city wall, a few steps away from the Inner Steintor, a multi-storey house nestles against the rock face of the Kapuzinerberg. We look up through a wrought-iron gate to a building that has a series of arched windows on the ground floor. On the floors above the window panes are separated by crosses. “A nightmare for every cleaning lady,” I think to myself. Inez confirms this and adds: “The houses in Steingasse were - and are - houses that cannot be kept dry because of the proximity of the Kapuzinerberg. Many of them are built directly on the mountainside, so that the water flowing down from the mountain keeps the walls moist. ”Those who lived here did not belong to the upper class of Salzburg.
The Steingasse and Silent Night Holy Night
In Steingasse lived those who bagged life. And Anna Mohr was one of them. She rented rooms to travelers, Steingasse was once the main connection to the south. Today we can not believe it, the paved road is so narrow that only three people can walk side by side. In those times, when carriages and horses were still the most important means of transportation, things looked different. They did not need wide roads.
One of the tenants of Anna's room was Franz Mohr, a musketeer from Mariapfarr in Lungau, Salzburg. Apparently, the two understood each other well, because Anna gave birth to little Joseph nine months later. His father had meanwhile gone to war and left Anna unmarried. They only married after his return from the war. Little Joseph was baptized in the Salzburg Cathedral in the same baptismal font as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The baptismal font still stands today in a side chapel of the cathedral.
A life as an illegitimate son - The author of Silent Night Holy Night
If a child was born illegitimate at that time, this was from the outset disadvantaged. These circumstances forced Anna to subordinate her illegitimate son to the financial care of the Salzburg cathedral vicar Johann Nepomuk Hiernle. Joseph was lucky. Hiernle recognized the musical talent of the boy and sent him first to high school. Later, he made sure that Mohr could study theology. But only when the Pope Mohr granted a waiver, Joseph Mohr was allowed to be ordained a priest in the year 1815. Those born out of wedlock usually could not enter the service of the church at that time.
Joseph Mohr wrote Silent Night Holy Night
His most famous work, the Christmas Carol Silent Night, Holy Night wrote Joseph Mohr in Oberndorf near Salzburg, where he shows it 1818 the teacher Franz Xaver Gruber. He asked him to write a suitable melody. That's how the song got on the 24. December 1818 performed in the village church of Oberndorf for the first time. No one knew then that it would start its triumphal march around the world from there. Today it belongs to everyone Christmas in the whole world. However, Silent Night, Holy Night is always sung at the end of Mass, because it is not a hymn, but a folk song, and therefore not part of the liturgy.
Follow us on our walk through Joseph Mohr's homeland and on the trail of the Christmas carol through Salzburg in Petar's video.
For overnight in the Christmas time we recommend the Naturidyll Hotel Hammerschmiede in Anthering *, which is only about 15 minutes outside of Salzburg in the middle of the forest. What's better than the Christmas time?
Arrival by plane, train and bus
Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and other airlines fly to Salzburg. It is possible to travel to Salzburg by train. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Salzburg.
Accommodation in Salzburg
Hotels in Salzburg * Book online via booking.com.
Our travel tips for Salzburg
These travel tips we tested ourselves. Maybe there is something for you?
Discover other Christmas tips for Salzburg
- Christmas in Salzburg
- Three Christmas markets in Salzburg from romantic to noble
- Salzburg for Christmas in the Stiftskeller
- When the Krampus gets around in Salzburg
- Salzburger Christkindlmarkt on the cathedral square
- Christmas on the fortress Hohensalzburg
- Advent in Salzburg
- Experience Salzburg at Christmas
Do you already know:
Other Slow Travel Tips here.
Source for Silent Night Holy Night: own research on site. We would like to thank Salzburg Tourism for the friendly invitation to this trip.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline