Visit the Most Famous Nativity Scenes

Visit the Most Famous Nativity Scenes

Nativity scenes are an inseparable part of Christmas, and you will find them at almost every Christmas market.

Nearly every city or town has a lit Christmas tree in the main square and a nativity scene under the tree. Each nativity scene is original and unique. The story of baby Jesus, born in an empty stable, is depicted in miscellaneous ways by the artists. Come visit the most famous towns with the most beautiful nativity scenes in the Czech Republic.

Prague nativity scenes

Nativity scenes can be seen in many Prague churches as well as outside at the advent markets. The most famous exhibition of nativity scenes takes place in the basement of the Bethlehem Chapel in the Prague´s Old Town . There will also be a nativity scene in St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle, where Christmas masses will also take place. The Charles Bridge Museum has also prepared a Christmas exhibition with a straw nativity scene and larger-than-life figurines. The Church of Our Lady of the Snows has also prepared a Christmas exhibition with nativity scenes made from various materials, including a mechanical nativity scene with moving figurines. Christmas in the old times used to be the time of a lamplighter, whom you can meet on the Charles Bridge during Advent. He will be dressed in period clothing, lighting gas lamps with a long pole.

Museum of the Infant Jesus of Prague

The Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague conceals a golden statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague that crowds of tourists from all over the world come to admire year-round. The wooden statue is 47 cm tall, covered with wax, and the facial expression is so unique that it can hardly be copied. During the Christmas holidays, there are Christmas masses in the church. The nativity scene will be on display for the duration of the Christmas holiday.

Museum of Nativity Scenes in Karlštejn

In the outer bailey of one of the most famous Czech castles, Karlštejn, you can enjoy an early Christmas time in the Museum of Nativity Scenes. It is about an hour by car from Prague. There are not only classic wooden nativity scenes, but also some made from unusual materials, such as wax, sugar or bread, as well as a few mechanical nativity scenes. The dominant feature of the museum is the Royal Nativity Scene of Karlštejn – the largest puppet nativity scene in the Czech Republic with an area of 80 m2. The nativity scene with the castle scenery includes 46 wooden puppets dressed in period clothing. Advent in Karlštejn inherently means gingerbread. Freshly baked gingerbread nativity scenes decorate all the outer bailey of the castle and create an unforgettable atmosphere until the day of the Three Wise Men.

Krýza’s Crèche

The largest folk mechanical nativity scene, also recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, can be seen in South Bohemian Jindřichův Hradec, an hour and a half by car from Prague. The nativity scene includes almost 1,400 figurines from wood and pasteboard, some of which are movable. The nativity scene used to be driven manually, but it has been modernised and is now operated by an electric drive. The nativity scene is displayed in the Museum of the Jindřichův Hradec Region and you can see it any time during the year.

Třešť nativity scenes

Třešť in Vysočina is one of the most important areas of the manufacture of nativity scenes in the Czech Republic. People there started to make nativity scenes in the 19th century when paper and wooden nativity scenes became popular. Later, wooden nativity scenes took over. The basic components of Třešť nativity scenes include a central place of the birth of Baby Jesus, a city and a landscape with trees, small structures of farmsteads and chalets. There are herds of sheep grazing on the surrounding pastures. Contemporary nativity scenes have up to 500 figurines and may be up to 7 metres long. The local nativity scenes are not only a staging of a biblical story, but an image of life and clothing of the common people. At present, there are about 10 folk woodcarvers living there who keep the tradition alive. During the Christmas holiday, the local nativity scenes are open to the public. You can look at about 20 nativity scenes in Třešť homes or in the Vysočina Museum in the main square, located in Schumpeter’s house. There is now a new tradition, the Woodcarving Event, which takes place every summer, and is where about 20 figurines are made for the joint nativity scene, each 10 to 15 cm tall. The joint nativity scene, which now contains over 1,000 figurines and buildings, is on display at the Society of the Friends of Nativity Scenes. Christmas in Třešť lasts year-round.

Probošt’s nativity scene in Třebechovice

The mechanical wooden nativity scene in Třebechovice pod Orebem in East Bohemia, built more than a century ago, is the most valuable and most admired nativity scene in the Czech Republic. The nativity scene includes more than 2,000 carved parts made by folk woodcarvers Josef Probošt and Josef Kapucián. The nativity scene is available throughout the year, however, there are many special events during Christmas there. Regularly, there is also a traditional nativity scene market with the atmosphere of old Czech Christmas and a rich Christmas programme.