One of the most popular and beloved songs of all time, few Christmas carols are as evocative and enduring as Silent Night. This delightful Christmas medal celebrates the song’s Austrian origin and makes for an ideal Christmas stocking filler. Silent Nightwas written and first performed by village priest Joseph Mohr and schoolmaster and organist Franz Xaver Gruber on Christmas Eve 1818 in the parish church of St Nicholas in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. Entitled Stille Nacht, heilige Nachtin the original German, the song’s popularity is such that it has been translated into 140 different languages and been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to the Vienna Boy’s Choir, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide. It was even sung in German, French and English simultaneously in the trenches of the Western Front during the Christmas truce of 1914.
The church of St Nicholas was destroyed by flooding in the early 20th century but in its place stands the Silent Night Memorial Chapel, built with donations over a 12-year period and finished in 1937. Today people from all over the world visit the tiny chapel depicted on the reverse of this divine little medal in an idyllic winter landscape in which the Star of Bethlehem leaves the words “Happy Christmas” in its trail. The other side of this mini masterpiece features the opening lines of Silent Night written on a song sheet adorned with traditional Christmas poinsettias.
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