In August 2006, I went to the Silent Night Museum (Stille-Nacht-Museum) in Hallein. It primarily deals with Franz Xaver Gruber who is considered the composer of the famous Christmas carol Silent Night (Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht).
The first performance took place in 1818 in the St Nicholas parish church of Oberndorf near Salzburg. Since then numerous tourists come to the Silent Night Museum in Oberndorf every year.
But this is not the only museum referring to Silent Night, Holy Night. There is another one in Hallein where the composer of the song worked for many years.
At the Silent Night Museum
The museum stands opposite the parish church of Hallein. You can’t miss the church due of its extraordinarily modern tower. Here the composer of the famous Christmas carol had worked as choirmaster and composer for 28 years.
Inside the museum, I saw a couple of autographs and other originals telling me the emergence and distribution of the Christmas carol. Besides the documents, there was also some furniture from the estate of Franz Xaver Gruber on display.
At the grave of Franz Xaver Gruber
Outside the building, I was especially impressed by the grave of the composer. It is the only grave in the small square in front of the museum.
People from all over the world annually meet at his grave on December 24th. Organized by local societies like the Liedertafel and the Bürgergarde they gather for singing together.
Sources / More info
- Stille-Nacht-Museum (Official Website)