This little village 21 km (13 miles) north of Salzburg has just one claim to fame: it was here on Christmas Eve, 1818, that the world-famous Christmas carol "Silent Night," composed by the organist and schoolteacher Franz Gruber to a lyric by the local priest, Josef Mohr, was sung for the first time. The church was demolished and replaced in 1937 by a tiny commemorative chapel containing a copy of the original composition (the original is in the Salzburg Museum), stained-glass windows depicting Gruber and Mohr, and a Nativity scene. Every December 24 at 5 pm, a traditional performance of the carol—two male voices plus guitar and choir—in front of the chapel is the introduction to Christmas. You can get to Oberndorf by the local train (opposite the main train station), by car along the B156 Lamprechtshausener Bundesstrasse, or by bicycle along the River Salzach.
Heimatmuseum. About a 10-minute walk from the village center along the riverbank, the local Heimatmuseum, opposite
the chapel, documents the history of the carol. Stille-Nacht-Platz 7, Salzburg, Salzburg. 06272/4422–0. €2.50. March–Jan. daily 9–4; during the Advent daily 9–6.