St. Nikolaus-Kirche

Oberndorf bei Salzburg Austria

[Roman Catholic]

It was here in St. Nikolaus-Kirche, on Christmas Eve 1818, that the beloved carol "Stille Nacht/Silent Night" was first sung. As the organ was damaged by flooding, Priest Joseph Mohr asked organist/school teacher Franz Gruber to put a simple guitar accompaniament to his poem, which was then sung at the midnight mass. Master organbuilder, Karl Mauracher, in town to repair the organ, took the carol back to the Ziller valley. There, several groups of singing sisters added it to their repertoires, leading to its widespread popularity. Major damgae from heavy flooding in the late 19th century led to the razing of the church in 1910/1913. A memorial chapel now stands on the site.