Joseph Mohr worked as a priest in numerous Salzburg parishes. From 1815 to 1817 he was coadjutor (assistant priest) in Mariapfarr in Lungau, in this time Josef Stoff was the pastor.
In 1816, Joseph Mohr, wrote the text of “Silent Night! Holy Night! ” in the form of a poem. The altarpiece with the adoration of the three wise men was decisive.
The house of Joseph Mohr's ancestors, the "Scharglerkeusche" (Stranach No. 21), is also located in Mariapfarr. On the local war memorial (World War I, 1914-1918, and World War II, 1939-1945) there is a relief that shows, among other things, Joseph Mohr with a guitar.
Father Joseph Mohr was born in Mariapfarr in 1776. During his training with the Prince Archbishop's military in Salzburg, he met Anna Schoiber, the daughter of a Hallein Salzamt clerk who died young. The two had their son, Joseph Mohr, who was able to study and become a priest thanks to the generous support of cathedral vicar Johann Hiernle.
Museums, memorials, events
Pfarr-, Wallfahrts- und Stille Nacht Museum
Joseph Mohr Platz Square with ‘Silent Night Fountain‘
Scharglerkeusche in Stranach
Church of St. Laurentius in Althofen
Mariapfarr is considered the sunniest place in Austria. The municipality is located at 1,119 m above sea level, has an area of 47.36 km² and is the third largest municipality in the Lungau with around 2,400 inhabitants.
In 923 the place was mentioned in a document as the mother parish of Lungau - "ecclesia ad lungowe". The history of the parish is closely linked to the parish church “Our Lady - the Mother of Consolation”. This was elevated to a Basilica Minor in 2018.
The coat of arms of the municipality of Mariapfarr corresponds to that of the extinct Thanhauser von Pichl family. Their death shield from 1483 (in red a white eagle catch erupting from the left edge of the shield) can still be seen in the parish church.
Silent-Night-Museum and Museum of Local History in Mariapfarr
Given recent findings, historians know that Joseph Mohr created the text to "Silent Night!" in the form of a poem in 1816 while serving in Mariapfarr in the Lungau region of the province of Salzburg. Two years later, Franz Gruber added the melody to the lyrics. During the years 1815-1817, Mohr held the position of assistant priest in Mariapfarr. The house of his grandfather, called the "Scharglerkeusche" is located at Stranach Nr. 21 not far from Mariapfarr. A reference to Mohr can also be found as part of a relief sculpture in the town's war memorial monument (World War I, 1914-1918).
The Silent Night Museum includes documentation on Joseph Mohr beginning with his family tree which goes back to the 17th century in Lungau. His origins from there and his stay in Mariapfarr from 1815-1817 as parish facilitator are not the only evidence of his relationship to Lungau.
Opening time Monday and Thursday from 2 to 5 PM.
October: Thursday from 2 to 5 PM.
April, May and November: The museum is closed.
For exact opening information and booking of special tours by appointment Tel. +43 (0) 6473 8766
Silent-Night-Museum and Museum of Local History Joseph-Mohr-Platz 1 A-5571 Mariapfarr
Silent Night Fountain in Joseph Mohr Square in Mariapfarr
"I feel closely related to Joseph Mohr. Every time I stand near his grave in Wagrain, I ask him to say a bidding prayer for me!" recounted priest Bernhard Rohrmoser in 2011 at the festivities celebrating the renovation of the vicarage, the introduction of Joseph Mohr Square and the new Silent Night Fountain, all blessed by Archbishop Alois Kothgasser.
Bernhard Rohrmoser designed the fountain himself in memory of year 1816, the year in which Joseph Mohr wrote the text to "Silent Night, Holy Night!" whilst he occupied the position of coadjutor in Mariapfarr.
The meaning of the fountain: The globe under the bust of Joseph Mohr represents the world-wide propagation of the Carol - in the meantime in more than 300 languages. A second bronze bowl under the globe combines the message of peace.
Bernhard Rohrmoser`s conceptual design was carried out by Alfred Kremser, a stonemason from Mariapfarr, and Peter Wiener, a sculptor from Adnet, who was also responsible for the caste-bronze for the bust and the bowls.
Silent Night Fountain Joseph-Mohr-Platz 1 A-5571 Mariapfarr