The Nativity Scene or Pessebre is an important part of Christmas in Barcelona and apparently, the Associació de Pessebristes de Barcelona, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012, is the oldest society dedicated to making models of the manger scene when Christ was born.
Obviously, with such an important tradition creating Nativity Scenes in Barcelona, there are pessebres on display all over the city throughout December and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there is a list of some of the best exhibitions of nativities around the city.
However, as far as I'm concerned there are two Nativity Scene exhibitions in Barcelona that really should not be missed - the big showcase pessebre in Plaça de Sant Jaume and the exhibition of smaller nativities and diorama in the Església de Betlem church on La Rambla.
The Pessebre in Plaça Sant Jaume is the the main showcase Nativity Scene in Barcelona and normally occupies half the square.
The topic and design changes every year but this being Barcelona, they are always very tastefully done and often thematically quite challenging.
In 2016, the scenes revolve around the theme of a poem by Josep Foix called Ho sap tothom i és profecia (Everyone knows it and it's a prophecy) but the modern design in large transparent baubles breaks with tradition and has upset a lot of people.
Let's hope next year's pessebre is a little more normal.
If you want to see how its done, you really shouldn't miss this exhibition of Nativities by the Associació de Pessebristes de Barcelona.
These are more similar to the typical models of the birth of Christ that are set by children in every home but take pessebrisme to the next level and are often veritable works of art.
The video below from the 150th anniversay exhibition gives you an idea of the amazing model-making you are likely to see and I'm sure you'll agree that the modest entrance fee of €2.50 is well worth it.
Sala d'Exposicions (Crypt) - Parròquia de la Mare de Déu de Betlem
Carrer Xuclà, 2/La Rambla, 109
When: 1 December to 6 January
Times: from 11 to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm
Metro: Catalunya (Red L1 Line) or Liceu (Green L3 Line)
Museu Diocesà Pia Almoina of Barcelona (Diocese museum)
Pla de la Seu, 2 (in front of Cathedral), Barcelona
When: From 1 December to 13 January
Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sundays and public holidays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Metro: Catalunya, Jaume I
Exhibition of Nativity Dioramas
Carre Lladó, 11, (Palau Mercader), 08002 Barcelona
When: From 1 December to 9 January
from 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm
Metro: Jaume I
Museu – Monestir de Pedralbes (Museum and Monastery)
Plaça del Monestir, s/n. 08034 Barcelona
From 15 December to 2 February
When: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
Metro: Palau Reial
Restaurant Les 7 Portes
Passeig d'Isabel II, 14, 08003 Barcelona
When: From 5 December to 6 January
Visible from the street
Metro: Barceloneta, Jaume I
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