Day two in Salzburg! First thing, we drove about 20km north to a village called Oberndorf. In this town is where Silent Night was composed by Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber, and then performed at this site on Christmas Eve in 1818. Can you imagine how beautiful this place is at night with snow all around? Every Christmas Eve, thousands gather around the grounds of this chapel to sing Silent Night (or Stille Nacht, rather).
It only took about 5 minutes to see this place. So we decided to take a stroll along the river. Then we found a charming village just beyond a foot bridge and decided to cross it. It was kind of a hidden gem (at least we felt like it was!). The buildings were snug together, each painted a different bright color. Pure beauty! It was late morning and most cafés were still closed. We followed a steeple that we saw from the other side and we came across a church that was so old and so beautiful! Definitely my favorite church-site on the whole trip. It’s called Stiftskirche Laufen (Mariä Himmelfahrt – the Assumption of our Lady Mary) and the oldest parts could be as old as the 9th Century. But they definitely have parish records from the 12th Century according to some online sources.
The Lodge we stayed at was family owned and operated. They gave us a heads up that the best Christmas Market in Salzburg was at Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Castle). It also has a gazebo that happens to be another Sound of Music location for scenes where Liesl and Rolfe sang Sixteen Going On Seventeen and where Captain Von Trapp and Maria sang Something Good. We had yet to spend some good time in a Salzburg Christmas Market and actually buy something for Christmas! It was AMAZING! I wish my camera could also capture the Christmas Spirit! 🙂
We couldn’t visit Salzburg without visiting a beer hall! So we did that in our final evening in Salzburg. Our brother-in-law, Rich, told us about a beer hall that he had been to that was previously a monastery. Augustine Abbey was built in 1294 and there is documentation proving that a brewery was operating in it in 1328. But this was both a monastery and brewery at the time. Interesting business concept! 🙂 It’s a beautiful building and all of the remodeling / upkeep of the building has preserved the original look of the monastery. If you click on their website, you can read more about the history and see the exterior in daylight, where they have beer gardens.
This was our farewell to Salzburg! Tomorrow would be our final day spent in Berchtesgaden… one more blog post to come! Hope you’ve all enjoyed my millions of photos. 🙂