Oberndorf bei Salzburg is a city in Austria with 5804 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020). It is located in the north of the federal state of Salzburg on the right bank of the Salzach opposite the Bavarian border town of Laufen. The Christmas carol Silent Night, Holy Night, was performed for the first time in Oberndorf in 1818.
As a suburb of the city of Laufen on the left bank of
the river, Oberndorf originally belonged to the Salzburggau of the
Duchy of Baiern. The Salzburg archbishops were able to acquire the
area of the later Rupertiwinkel in the 13th century. In 1275,
Salzburg's western border with the Chiemgau was confirmed by the
Landshut Duke Heinrich. This marked the beginning of the separation
of the state of Salzburg from the motherland of Bavaria. In 1328,
Salzburg had become a largely independent state through the
enactment of its own regional order. With the Treaty of Munich in
1816, Laufen and the Rupertiwinkel were separated from Salzburg and
Bavaria was added, Oberndorf became Austrian and thus a border town
between the Kingdom of Bavaria and Austria, while Laufen remained in
the Salzach district of the Kingdom of Bavaria (dissolved in 1817).
In the 19th century, due to the construction of the railway, shipping on the Salzach, which had been important for the salt trade, continued to decline. The last salt transport took place in 1871.
Until the end of the 19th century, the place consisted
of a few houses at the bend of the Salzach, where the Alte
Landstrasse meets the Schöffleutgasse today, as well as a few houses
further downstream along today's Uferstrasse. Since at least 1278
there has been a wooden yoke bridge over the Salzach roughly where
the Europasteg is today. It connected the city mountain and the
lower city gate in Laufen with the foot of the Kalvarienberg in
Oberndorf. Over the centuries, Laufen and, above all, the low-lying
Oberndorf, repeatedly suffered from floods that damaged or
completely destroyed the bridge, for example in 1314, 1508, 1567,
1598, 1786 and 1787. In August 1896 an exceptionally high one
cracked Flood again part of the bridge. While the plans for a higher
iron arch bridge were still being planned, a flood occurred on July
31 and August 1, 1897, which exceeded the last one by a meter and
not only tore away the temporarily repaired wooden bridge, but also
the previous plans for the made the new bridge obsolete. It was
finally agreed to build an even higher bridge when the floods of
September 13th and 14th, 1899 exceeded all previously registered
trademarks and also made the last plans for a higher bridge to make
waste. This flood exceeded the access roads to the previous bridge
by two to three meters and damaged or destroyed almost all buildings
in Oberndorf, including the late Baroque St. Nicholas Church.
It was therefore decided to build a bridge at the current location, an idea that had previously failed due to resistance from both communities. The terrain there was high enough so that the access roads could also be constructed without flooding. In the course of the construction of the new bridge, the previous Oberndorf was largely abandoned and demolished and a new location with a new church was built at the new bridge.
The relocation of an Austria-wide first stumbling block by the art initiative KNIE, which was requested in 1997, was not approved by the mayor at the time.
In April 2001 the Oberndorf market was raised to the status of a town.
For the common history of Laufen and Oberndorf from early history to 1816 and for salt shipping, see History of Laufen.