From 1837 on Joseph Mohr worked as a vicar in Wagrain, he was venerated in Wagrain as a special friend of the poor and sick. As soon as he arrived he began building a school that was later named after him. Joseph Mohr was also considered sociable and affable. A certificate from 1834 confirmed his excellent pastoral work. He maintained a church choir and was active as a composer.
One of the main concerns of Joseph Mohr, who had grown up in poverty himself, was the establishment of a poor welfare organization. The "depositing system" was a thorn in his side in particular: the poor and the old had to wander from house to house, were accommodated there for a day or two and had to move on again. In the, often inhospitable, winters in the mountains, many did not last long.
Joseph Mohr's visits to the, often remote, houses and courtyards are also likely to have proved fatal, as his already ailing health, Joseph Mohr suffered from tuberculosis as a child, deteriorated more and more in Wagrain. On December 4, 1848, at the age of only 56, he died of paralysis and found his final resting place at Wagrain cemetery.
Johann Rettenegger had been pastor in Wagrain since 1913, he founded the Mohr Memorial Committee and wrote two appeals for donations for the purchase of the Mohr Memorial in Oberndorf, which Josef Mühlbacher had created.
Museums, memorials, events
Joseph Mohr’s Grave
Johann Rettenegger’s Grave
Mohr Open-air Exhibition
Joseph Mohr School
Silent Night Museum in Pflegerschlössl
Wagrain has been a market town for 700 years. The economic basis in the Middle Ages was the important road connection to the Tauern Pass, in the 18th century mining (iron ore), later agriculture and today tourism and industry.
Wagrain was the place in the archbishopric of Salzburg with the highest number of evangelical exiles. When the Protestants were expelled in 1732/1734, 1.675 people emigrated and only 575 people remained. It was not until the 1960s that the population increased again with around 1.800 people.
Today Wagrain has 3.120 inhabitants (2020) and is one of the most important winter sports locations in the Ski World Amadé.