F: This nativity scene, in which the baby Jesus appears in a bright light, is a source of particular pride. It belongs to our Association, “Friends of the Crèche”. On that point, you need to know ...
M: ... that the association was founded in 1982 by Anton Kirstein, the local parish priest at the time. He set it up along with Klaus Porten, a great fan of Christmas cribs. Our association enjoys charitable status and has around 300 members from all over Germany, but also from Luxembourg and Austria.
F: Our aim is to promote and disseminate cribs, based on their religious, artistic and folkloric significance. As volunteers, we not only manage this museum, we also operate a crib-building school where we run courses on how to make your own crib. These courses are open to anyone who’s interested. On behalf of the Bavarian Association of Friends of the Crib, we also offer a four-year training course to become a master crib builder.
M: The association's crib was jointly created by our master crib builders, men and women alike. The figures are hand-carved and between 12 and 18 centimetres tall – equivalent to between four and seven inches. The crib is built in what’s known as the Nazarene style. The Nazarene movement emerged in the early 19th century, displaying a blend of the romantic and the spiritual. A typical feature of this style is that it confines itself to representing only essentials.
F: The Annunciation to the Shepherds appears on the left. On the right, above the nativity scene proper, you can see two putti, holding a banner with the words "Gloria in excelsis Deo" – "Glory to God in the highest". It’s all as described in the Gospel of Luke.
M: Right next to the baby Jesus, a new-born lamb teeters on wobbly legs. The lamb is a symbol of Jesus' sacrificial death, an early reference to his later Passion.
Fotos: © Crib Museum and © Trüpschuch