Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg

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Sign in Steingasse in Salzburg

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.


Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg The house where Joseph Mohr was born
Silent Night, Holy Night - The house where Joseph Mohr was born



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.


Silent Night Holy Night sign in the Steingasse in Salzburg
Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg - This sign in Steingasse in Salzburg is on the wrong house


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.


View of the old town and Hohensalzburg
Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg - View of the old town and Hohensalzburg from Steingasse


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?

Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

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.

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Accommodation in Salzburg

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Our travel tips for Salzburg

These travel tips we tested ourselves. Maybe there is something for you?



Salzburg & Silent Night Holy Night
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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

Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.