Eine Krippenszene mit Schnee.
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Big nativity scene exhibit in Altötting

23 November to 15 December 2019

Opening times: 11 am – 7 pm daily

Entry: €2.50; groups of 10 or more €2.00; children up to 14 years old get in for free

Discover the world of Altötting nativity scenes

Pause, watch, smile and remember your childhood: visitors to this year’s Altötting nativity scene exhibit can experience it all. This only takes place every five years and takes guests through the world of the liturgical and Biblical year. The creators of these elaborate scenes are laying the fruits of their passion at the feet of people and enthralling their hearts with a colourful range of interesting diversions.

The Altötting group of nativity-lovers numbers 170 members. Of course, not everyone immerses themselves in designing these little masterpieces. “It isn’t easy finding new blood either,” explains chairwoman Angelika Tupy. One of these boys is Konrad Randl, who got his enthusiasm for this hobby from his father Thomas: “I recreated a stall for a nativity scene for the first time in 2010. I’d always had a feel for it. Now I carve the figurines too.” The young man now also creates the beautiful annual nativity in the Michaelikirche (St. Michael’s Church), among others.

Chapter in the life of Jesus

Anyone involved in discovering the nativity world also travels across the world with the figurines. The magnificent images drawn by the artists transport the viewer to various regions. The Neapolitan style is rustic and authentic. The baby Jesus comes into the world in the middle of the colourful hustle and bustle of the southern Italian city. The rustic life can be played out in the middle of an inn integrated into the scene. The “Neapolitans” present the figures in a very lifelike way. The Middle East-oriented pieces of work are presented in a gorgeous, colourful and expansive way. Here are the Three Wise Men on their camels on their way to the Lord’s cradle. Viewers will find tents as well as elephants. One thing all the tiny and lovingly-designed master pieces have in common is that you get that feeling that you could put yourself straight into any of the scenes. The walk through the nativity exhibits is a special form of getting away from everyday life. It is also a sort of special form of meditation. So the viewer becomes a converter between the worlds. Arriving in “Bavaria”, the figurines suddenly appear wearing lederhosen. The Messiah finds himself in snow-covered surroundings. Carol singers round off the sincerely Bavarian but contemplative look and feel. There are so many more interesting facets that every visitor to the Altötting Christmas Market can discover while here.

Detailaufnahme der Krippe in der Michaelikirche

Nativity scene exhibit with guided tour

Our tip: visit the exhibit as part of the “advent magic and nativity tradition in the heart of Bavaria” tour. Together with a tour guide, you’ll go exploring the city. Along with the nativity exhibit, you’ll also visit the little Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Mercy) and the historic Stiftspfarrkirche church. Don’t miss out on a mulled wine at the cosy Altötting Christmas Market at the end of the tour.

Dates:
Saturday: 23/11, 30/11, 7/12 and 14/12/2019, all at 2 pm
Sunday: 24/11, 1/12, 8/12 and 15/12/2019, all at 2:30 pm
Sunday: €12.00 per person, incl. entry to the nativity exhibit, guided tour and mulled wine at the Christmas market
Tours for groups at the group rate of €10.00 per person, enquire at the tourist office.

Eine orientalische Krippe zeigt zwei Engel.

Nativity Scene Tradition in Altötting

The nativity scene tradition has been preserved in Altötting for more than 400 years and is inseparably linked to the Christmas season. Initially, nativity scenes used to be a "pedagogical instrument" mainly used by the Jesuits in their pastoral ministry. Legend has it that the first ever nativity scene shown in Altötting was as far back as 1601. This beautiful custom is still observed today, and there are numerous lovingly designed annual nativity scenes in the Stiftspfarrkirche and the FriedhofskircheSt. Michael. At the town hall you can see an impressive nativity scene presented by the town with figurines dressed in local costumes. Also, a wooden nativity scene greets the numerous visitors in front of the basilica each year. Moreover, a very active association, the "Altöttinger Krippenfreunde", is once again organising a large nativity scene exhibition at the Christkindlmarkt 2019.

Die Weihnachtskrippe mit Schnee vor der Altöttinger Basilika St. Anna.