Pessebre Vivent de l'Espluga de Francolí L'Espluga de Francolí

Carrer del Mig, 4 L'Espluga de Francolí
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A trip back in time, to the origin of Christmas

InL'Espluga de Francolí, one of the Catalan towns that was a pioneer, in 1964, in beginning to represent live nativity scenes, a static live nativity scene is currently represented —the only one in the Tarragona region of this style— of character biennial, with historical accuracy and careful details.

It is an immersive tour where the visitor stops being an external spectator to integrate into the historical scenes, entering houses and streets of the old medieval towns of Espluga Sobirana and Espluga Jussana, at the foot of what remains of the old castle, between the conglomerate rocks that form caves and cavities (esplugues) in the heart of the town. As if time had stopped, the extras remain frozen, like figures in a manger, pursuing a story that transports us back to the first century Bethlehem, on the night of Hannukka, the festival of light, when Mary and Joseph seek accommodation with difficulty.

Through a sensory and emotional journey, the visitor enters the hostel's kitchen and dining room, the depths of the cellar and the corral, the embers of the bread oven, and the narrow streets that lead to the Roman camp, where César Augusto has summoned by edict to the citizens to register in the census. It is on this cold night when some shepherds who keep watch over the flock in the open, as the Hebrew tradition of Sukkot marks, at the end of the harvest, sleeping in palm huts, are surprised by a mysterious light. The houses of Bethlehem, the stables and the orchards open up to the visitor in the streets of the old Templar and Hospitaller town, where Christians and Jews lived together normally during the Middle Ages. Away from everything, in a stable attached to a cave, the visitor discovers an intimate scene full of love, like the birth of Jesus has never been seen.

The second part of the tour, through the streets of l'Espluga de baix, recreates life in Nazareth days after the birth of the Messiah.

The streets are full of craftsmen and merchants of ceramics, wool and fabrics, roads and coopers, smiths and carpenters, while the women explain in the laundry room what they have heard in the market: the Savior has been born, who is the Messiah, the Lord!! From afar, some strange travelers arrive, mounted on camels, while in the temple, the rabbis and those praying review in the scriptures the prophecy of what is to come.

Tickets (with limited capacity and advance sales only) include discounts for visiting the museum facilities in the area and packages are offered for groups.

You may also be interested in: Nativity Scenes in Catalonia 2023


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