Discover the most important Nativity Scenes in Madrid
Following a tradition started in the 15 Century the most important oficial building and churches will expose the nativity scenes in Madrid.
Christmas is around the corner and Madrid again shows its spectacular collection of handcrafted Nativity scenes in Madrid. The tradition of Jesus Christ’s nativity scenes is one of the oldest in Christianity dating back to the Roman Empire. However, it won’t be until the 13th century when this will become an established tradition in Europe, and Nativity scenes will appear in big size sculptoric groups in churches. Tradition has it was Saint Francis of Assisi the first one who gave a Christmas Eve mass with a Nativity scene in the year 1223.
The Natitivies tradition will arrive in Spain in the 15th century thanks to the franciscans. One of the oldest Nativity scenes in Madrid is the one hosted in the Descalzas Reales monastery dating back to the 16th century with figures made of coral, silver and bronze. However, the custom of the home nativity scene does not appear until the 18th century, when King Charles III brings the Neapolitan custom of exhibiting a full Nativity at the Royal Palace to Madrid. This quickly became fashionable among Madrid’s aristocracy, and then it spread along the rest of the population becoming finally an almost compulsory feat of every house in Christmas time in Spain.
Several artistic and handcrafted nativities can be seen in Madrid during Christmas time as well as in January. The most notable are the Nativity – or Nativity as they are called in Spain referencing the city of Bethelem where Christ’s birth took place – in Cibeles Palace, current city council, until January 7th, or the famous Neapolitan Nativity ordered by King Charles III in the 18th century which has over 200 figures and it’s shown at Madrid’s Royal Palace until January 14th. The Baroque Nativity from Madrid’s History Museum will also be exhibited until January 28th and finally, the most visited one, Nativity of Puerta del Sol, will be opened until January 5th.
Here we leave you the list of the most famous Nativities scenes in Madrid! You can visit them this Christmas until late January:
Nativity of Cibeles
Palacio de Cibeles, From Dec 7 to Jan 7.
Nativity of Puerta del Sol
Casa de Correos. Puerta del Sol. Until Jan 5.
Nativity of the Royal Palace
Palacio Real de Madrid. Until Jan 14.
Nativity of Museo de Historia de Madrid
Calle Fuencarral 78. Until Jan 28.
Bailén, 10. From Dec 25 to Jan 14 (Closed Dec 25, Jan 1 and 6)
Nativity of San Ginés Church
Arenal, 13. From Dec 16 to Jan 7
Plaza Conde de Miranda, 3. From Dec 6 to Jan 8
Hermandad del Silencio
Atocha, 87 bis. From Dec 4 to Jan 5 (Closed Dec: 24, 25 and 31 and Jan 1)
Real Iglesia de San Andrés
Plaza de San Andrés, 1
San Miguel Basilic
San Justo, 4. Until Jan 16
Here you can find the entire list.
We hope this will help to enjoy Madrid a little bit more! If you also want to Discover the best well hidden secrets of Madrid, try our free tour Madrid and take the best of the city with them! Merry Christmas!!