Where to See Christmas Nativity Scenes in Barcelona

A Giant nativity scene BarcelonaPlaça de Sant Jaume

If you’re in Barcelona at Christmas time you shouldn’t miss the large nativity scene in Plaça de Sant Jaume. The nativity occupies about a quarter of the plaza and the design changes every year. The nativity scene  shown below is from 2014 and was a recreation of the Roman city of Barcino.

The three kings arriving at Barceino by boat in the giant nativity scene in Barcelona's Saint James' square.

Nativity Scene, Plaça de Sant Jaume

The traditional stable and manger were replaced by a basket on the beach in front of a partly-built boat. As you can see the 3 wise men wisely decided to ditch their camels and arrived together in a fishing boat. The design also included a signal tower on Montjuïc, a Roman Villa complete with soldiers and a stone aqueduct sheltering the ubiquitous caganer.

Giant Roman style crib representing Barcino

Plaça de Sant Jaume

Location: Plaça de Sant Jaume
Dates: From November 28th 2016 until January 6th 2017

Barcelona Cathedral

Statue of Balthasar, one of the biblical 3 wise men in Barcelona Cathedral

Balthasar, Barcelona Cathedral

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the nativity scene in the cloisters of Barcelona Cathedral sticks to the traditional format of stable, manger, shepherds and 3 wise men.

Location: The cloisters of Barcelona Cathedral
Dates: From November 28th 2016 to January 6th 2017
Opening Times: 8:00 – 13:00, 17:00- 19:00
Entry fee: FREE

Poble Espanyol

Bored looking actors in a living nativity scene in Poble Espanyol, Barcelona

Living Nativity Scene, Poble Espanyol

The first ever living nativity scene was organized by St Francis of Assisi in Florence Italy in 1223. There is a long tradition of Pessebres Vivents in Catalonia but this is only the fourth time that they have been staged in Poble Espanyol.

Location: Poble Espanyol, Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia No. 13, Barcelona
Dates: December 8th to 11th 2016
Times: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00
Entry Fee: Local residents €6, non-residents must purchase a full priced ticket for Poble Espanyol.

Asosiació de Pessebristes de Barcelona

Diaorama scene depicting the virgen mary on a donkey and a peasant in traditional Catalan dress

Diorama, Associació de Pessebristes Barcelona

The Barcelona crib makers association has set up exhibitions of dioramas at the following locations. If you only want to visit one or two I suggest you start with the exhibition at Atesania de Catalunya which is centrally located and free of charge.

Associatió de Pessebristes de Barcelona
C/ Lledó 11
November 22nd 2016 – February 2nd 2017
11:00 – 14:00 , 17:00 – 20:00
Note: The centre is open year round and offers crib building courses and workshops.

Església de Betlem
La Rambla 109
September 11th 2016 – January 6th 2017
10:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – 20:00

Artesania de Catalunya
C/ Banys Nous 11
November 26th 2016 – January 10th 2017
10:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – 20:00

Monestir de Pedralbes
pl. del Monestir
December 14th 2016 – February 2nd 2017
10:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – 20:00

CCP – La Violeta de Gracia
C/ Maspons 6
1st – 13th of December 2016
Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 23:00
Weekends: 10:00 – 23:00

The Nativity Façade of the Sagrada Família Basilica

Last but by no means least, Barcelona’s most visited nativity scene is open all year long…

The Nativity Scene Façade of the Sagrada Familia church with a small lake in the foreground, Barcelona

The Nativity Façade of the Sagrada Família

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