(Cover image: Detail of the Bethlehem of Salzillo. Source: Salzillo Museum)

Christmas is just around the corner and the Immaculate Bridge is a very typical date for the belenistas to start one of the most anticipated times of each December: the routes, samples and exhibitions where we can see the most beautiful cribs in Spain. In one of our first posts we suggested you visit the most outstanding belenista routes of our country, and last year we discovered 6 essential routes through the north and other 8 through southern Spain.

Let's see, this time, some of the most unknown belenist routes in the country. Can you come with us?

Detail of the Monumental Nativity Scene of Xátiva. Photography: Xátiva City Hall

5 belenista routes to discover in Spain

  • Christmas in Valencia: traditional, monumental, living nativity scenes ... Valencia is a beautiful city and this Christmas dresses up to bring you some spectacular births. They certainly highlight the Rock Bethlehem, the nativity scene with more figures from Spain with more than 7.000; and the Bethlehem of the Crystal Hall in the City Hall, of the Association of Belenistas of the city. A life-size one is also mounted in the Plaza de la Reina. In the province, it is worth visiting the Nativity of Xátiva, of 1.600 square meters; and the Bethlehem of Tirisiti, in Alcoy, a unique puppet representation.
  • Nativity scenes in Gijón: After many years of fighting to defend the belenista tradition in the city, the Gijón Belenista Association managed to organize its I Belenista Route in 2018. Among this year's program, it is worth visiting the Asturian Nativity Scene of the INTU shopping center; the one of the Adoration in the Garden, in the Tanatorio El Lauredal, or the Bethlehem of the Picos de Europa in the Old Institute. A Belenista route through Gijón It can be the perfect icing on a weekend of history, heritage and good gastronomy.
  • Living Nativity Route of Cádiz: the white towns of the province of Cádiz are in themselves a excellent tourism proposal at Christmas, but if they also surprise you with their traditional living nativity scenes ... what else can you ask for? We propose a belenista route in which you can visit Arcos de la Frontera, Medina Sidonia, Prado del Rey, Trebujena, Ubrique, Vejer, Tarifa, Rota ... Most of these destinations celebrate their living nativity scene on the weekend of 14 and 15 December but in this link you can check all dates.

Image of the market in the Living Bethlehem of Medina. Photography: Medina Sidonia Town Hall

  • Route of the Nativity scenes of Murcia: The City Council organizes each year a route with the most significant nativity scenes that are exposed from the December 5 to the January 5. Many of these nativity scenes are enlivened by corals, crews, auroros bells or orchard rocks. They highlight the Belén de Salzillo, one of the most important historical nativity scenes in Spain; that of the Episcopal Palace, that of the Federation of Peñas Huertanas or that of the Government Delegation, among others.
  • Nativity scenes in Bilbao: the crib in Euskadi is a tradition that, for one reason or another, has not had the media impact of other northern cities. However, there are many spaces that, thanks above all to the Bizkaia Belenista Association, expose their beautiful nativity scenes during Christmas, one more incentive to spend a few days in the capital of Biscay. The Museum of the Steps hosts since last December 1 a sample of 13 nativity scenes of different themes. In the Basque Museum of Plaza Unamuno you can enjoy a monumental Basque Bethlehem, which reproduces landscapes, hamlets and typical characters of the Basque Country. And, if you want to surprise yourself with an exhibition of exotic nativity scenes, the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art exhibits "Nativity scenes of the World", a sample of 250 small births from all regions of the planet. What other excuse do you need to enjoy Bilbao?

    Ayacuchano typical altarpiece. Image of the portal lamula.pe

Do you plan to plan your trips for the next Christmas? Do not hesitate and, if belenismo is your thing and you want to enjoy your hobby with your friends and family, take the opportunity to escape and visit any of these Belenista routes unknown to Spain that we propose. And, if you have room, we invite you to give us your opinion. Which of them did you like the most?

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