Prague Travel Guide


Great Christmas Crib Near Prague Loreta

Great Christmas Crib near Prague Loreta

1 January 2007, 18:15 - Art
New Year has arrived and people are coming back from Christmas to the normal life. But you can say last goodbye to this year's Christian celebrations by seeing some of the Christmas cribs in some of Prague churches.

Christmas crib is a scenic and spatial representation of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. These cribs were made with different techniques, from small to giant sizes, or of different quality, over the history, but all the cribs have common history.

Displaying the crib can be traced back to the Christmas mass of St Francis of Assisi, which was celebrated in 1223 in the open air in the woods in Umbria (now in Italy). First cribs were often set decorations. There are also different explanation, how the tradition of displaying the crib become important part in the life of church during the Christmas period.

In Prague, several cribs could be seen (usually until 7 Jan or until 2 Feb). One the masterpieces is located just some steps from the Prague Castle and just around the corner from the famous pilgrimage place in Prague Loreta. It is Baroque Christmas Crib in the Capuchin Church in the Hradcany district in Prague.

Prague Christmas Cribs

This crib is an impressive set of 48 figures (32 human and 16 animal figures) consisting of the group of the Holy Family, the Three Kings and a rich accompaniment of guards, archers and gift bearers. Most of the figures are almost in the human size. The figures of the shepherds are the tallest (175 cm). The Christmas crib originally has an exact layout, that respects perspective shrinking of the figures in the background.

Prague Christmas Cribs

The dating of this Christmas crib is very problematic. Some sources say, that it must have been created before 1725 (first mention of the crib was found in the Baroque almanach from this year). There is no other similar set of sculptures in the area of Czech republic for historians to make any close comparisons. The other problem with dating arise if we consider that the different piece were probably made in different years.

Anyway, the Christmas crib in the Capuchin Church worth seeing.

WHERE: Panna Marie Andelska - Capuchin Church and Cloister, Loretanske nam. 6/99, Prague 1 - Hradcany area

WHEN: 1 Jan - 7 Jan 2007 open daily from 10am to 5pm and 8 Jan - 2 Feb 2007 only on Sat and Sun 2pm to 5pm