Day 1: Fügen and Hippach
Fügen – home of the Ur-Rainer Singers. In the Baroque Chateau of Fügen in the 18th Century lived the Major and Chamberlain Count Ludwig von Dönhoff (1769-1838). To entertain his guests, the Emperor Franz I and Czar Alexander I, he organised one evening an appearance of the Ur-Rainer singer family – Maria, Felix, Franz, Anton and Joseph Rainer – from Fügen. According to oral tradition, they sang the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” among other songs. The songs delighted the celebrity guests so much that from then on the Ur-Rainer singers were able to perform in any European cities and at the noblest princely courts, among them also before King George IV of England. Just a few steps beside the Fügen Palace, in the graveyard of the parish church, a onument to the Ur-Rainer Singers can be found on the tomb of the family Dönhoff. When you visit the Local History Museum in the Widumspfiste you will discover the world’s largest known Silent Night record collection. Many of the records can still be listened to, and additionally one can learn more about the Zillertal national singers and the organ builder Carl Mauracher, old crafts and mining in Fügen/Fügenberg.
Hippach – residence of the Strasser family. The four siblings of the Strasser family singers – Anna, Joseph, Amalia and Karolina – grew up in Hippach, more specifically in Laimach, a hamlet of Hippach. From here, the four singers travelled and spread the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” The Strasser House, their birth house from the 18th Century still stands today. It is a Zillertal farmhouse built entirely from wood wi th smoke-stained wood beams, an old lounge with a barrel oven and sash and door hinges. The grade II listed farmhouse tells a lot about the austere life of the Zillertal farmers in the past that carried the song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” out into the world. But there is also a lot to discover there about the history of the most famous Christmas song.
Day 2: Achensee
Achensee – home of Ludwig Rainer. When Ludwig Rainer, son of Maria Rainer from the Ur-Rainer, came back to Austria with his group from America and Russia, he built the Hotel Seehof at the Achensee in 1869, which later burned down in 1900. The hotel, equipped with all comfor ts, attracted guests from all over the world and was his home from then on. Accordingly, one embarks on the trail of Ludwig Rainer in Achensee. Additionally, the Lake Chapel with its altar in the neo-Gothic style at the Achensee Lake was built by national singer Ludwig Rainer and after his death in 1893; he was buried gracefully in Achenkirch. During a visit to the “Sixenhof” in Achenkirch, the local history museum, you can get interesting historical insights such as on a clothing chest of Ludwig Rainer. In the Sixenhof, the history of the Holy Night is recounted each year in a centuries-old stable.
The individual blocks/days of your tour can be freely exchanged along with adding further options.