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.
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. Rattenberg boasts a contemplative and spirit-filled atmosphere where the true sense of Christmas is cherished and lived. 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. Culinary delights are available from local inns and restaurants. 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. Don’t miss out on tasting the special Rattenberg Advent Wine, rounded off by elder and served in the original Rattenberg Advent Glass.
Please Note: The cultural program will be staged to comply with COVID19 pandemic spread prevention measures.
Rattenberg Advent Season Highlights:
- ”Wonder and Mysteries” Exhibition at Augustiner Museum: Saturdays & Sundays from 3:00pm to 6:00pm (admission is € 5 on Sundays; free on Saturdays)
- Cultural program with traditional customs and music: Saturdays at 3:30pm (measures may be taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
- Traditional wind playing and the ‘Search for Shelter’ performed by local actors on Sunday afternoons
- Carol Singing Along: Sundays at 6:00pm