Silent Night! Holy Night!

Last year 2018 marked the 200th anniversary of the world’s most popular Christmas song “Silent Night! Holy Night!”. On 24 December 1818, Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber sang this song for the first time in the St Nikola Church in Oberndorf near Salzburg. 200 years later the song is sung by about two billion people in over 300 languages all over the world. 

Stille Nacht - Achenseehof Kapelle - von Ludwig Rainer erbaute Kapelle ©Tirol Werbung, Grössinger Michael

©Tirol Werbung, Grössinger Michael

The poem was written by the young curate Joseph Mohr and two years later, Franz Xaver Gruber, a teacher and organist from Upper Austria, composed the music. The song reached Tirol only a few years later through the organ builder Carl Mauracher of the Zillertal, where in the early 1830s the Tirolean national singers started performing. Highly musical farmer families travelled through Europe as merchants and performed in front of an audience. Especially the Strasser siblings and the Rainer singers from the Zillertal made the song internationally famous in Europe, America and Russia. The song was spread further by missionaries.

Today, the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” is UNESCO world cultural heritage and world peace song, international cultural heritage and musical heritage. 2018 marked the 200th anniversary of the song, and also this year the regions SalzburgerLand, Tirol and Upper Austria will continue to host numerous events and special exhibitions in the 13 Silent Night places. The Achensee region is one of the places where visitors can trace the history of “Silent Night! Holy Night”.

Four events in the Achensee region are dedicated to the Silent Night! Holy Night! anniversary year.

  • Guided Tour – Tracing the history of Ludwig Rainer

    The tour will tell the story backwards, starting at the local cemetery in Achenkirch. After a visit to Ludwig Rainer’s gravesite, the tour continues to the Heimatmuseum Sixenhof in Achenkirch. A special exhibition which was held in 2018 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” presents the life of family Rainer and their connection the world’s most famous Christmas song.

    In addition to exploring the special exhibition dedicated to Ludwig Rainer, guests can visit the traditional “Tiroler Bergweihnacht” (Tirolean Mountain Christmas) in the centuries-old barn of the Sixenhof. The story of Ludwig Rainer and Lake Achensee ends or rather begins at our next station at Achenseehof. The Achenseehof Chapel, which Ludwig Rainer had built, offers the perfect ambiance to once again soak up the eventful, international history of the song “Silent Night! Holy Night”.

    Individual guided tours are available on request on Sundays and Saturdays from 24 November to 27 December 2019 during the opening hours of the Tirolean Mountain Christmas. Tours take approx. 100 minutes.

    For reservations please contact the Tourist Board Achensee by phone at +43 5 95300-0 or by email at


    • Groups of 4 – 19 people: EUR 60 per group
    • Groups of 20 – 40 people: EUR 120 per group
    • Surcharge for Tirolean Mountain Christmas per person: EUR 6.50
  • Musical one-act play as part of the Silent Night anniversary

    Historical market – music ensemble at the “Advent in Tirol” Christmas markets 
    Two singing duos from the 19th century who want to build on the success of the song “Silent Night! Holy Night” give a performance that conveys the artistry of Tirolean music culture. Using the Silent Night song as a reference, they celebrate the variety of Tirolean Christmas and Advent music. The piece tells the story of the Silent Night in an accessible, entertaining and humorous way, without actually singing the Silent Night song.

    From 24th November until 22nd December a singing and dancing music ensemble will be touring the “Advent in Tirol” Christmas markets, presenting Tirolean Christmas songs and stories of the “Silent Night”.

    When: 15 and 22 December 2019 at 16.00
    Where: during the Mountain Advent at the Fischergut in Pertisau
    For more information visit

More details to “Silent Night! Holy Night! can be found on