Those who long for a quieter celebration of Christmas, without the hustle and bustle of shopping malls, tinsel, and hectic schedules, are strongly recommended to enjoy the festive season in the medieval town of Rattenberg, Austria’s smallest town. Without stalls but with lots of candles, warming fires and a truly special wine, revolving around the theme of “Angel's Peace”.
Standing on the banks of the Inn River, Rattenberg is tucked between the 10th century fortress on the hill and the river. The medieval center of Austria’s smallest town is full of revitalized townhouses, cobbled streets and alleyways. There will be no Christmas lighting in Rattenberg, instead, the lovely, historic pedestrian precinct will exclusively be lit by candles, torches and open fires on the four weekends during Advent Season. The cultural program adds to the spirit-filled atmosphere of the season with ‘the square of 1,000 lights’, an upside down Advent wreath, festive music and meditative texts.
Moreover, there will be no classical stalls and booths selling goods in Rattenberg. It was the development of the glass industry that brought Rattenberg to the height of its prosperity. Rattenberg’s historic center is dotted by specialist glass shops that will be open during Advent Season, selling their elaborate and unique glass art designs and original hand blown creations. There will be live music entertainment on the Advent stage next to the Christmas tree. On the four Sundays during Advent season, Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter, entitled “Anklöpfler” (literally, knocking at), is re-enacted in a procession of carolers and historic characters between 3:30 pm and 6:00pm. Don’t miss out on tasting the special Rattenberg Advent Wine, rounded off by elder and served in the original Rattenberg Advent Glass.
Rattenberg Advent Season Highlights
- Romantic Advent Walk with live music: Fridays at 4:00pm
- Play to celebrate the 200th anniversary of “Silent Night, Holy Night”: Saturdays between November 23 and December 21, 2019 at 4:15pm
- Cultural program with traditional customs and music: Saturdays at 2:00pm
- Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter, entitled “Anklöpfler” (literally, knocking at), is re-enacted on Sundays at 3:30pm
- Traditional wind playing and the ‘Search for Shelter’ performed by local actors: December 21 and 22, 2019 from 3:30pm to 6:00pm (shops and restaurants are open)
- Romantic Advent walk and organ concert at Spitalskirche Church on December 21 and 22, 2019 at 4:00pm; meets at Nagelschmiedhäuser
- Friday Christmas Concerts at 5:00pm at free admission: Wildschönau Gospel Choir (November 29, 2019; Rat Bat Blue (December 13, 2019); Eddy Miller Orchestra (December 20, 2019)