With a programme of conferences, concerts and round tables, the Parroquia of Santa Creu in Palma celebrates the 800th anniversary of the creation of the Nativity Scene of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Italian village of Greccio, the first living nativity scene.

In 1223, Saint Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity scene in the Italian village of Greccio. This representation marked a milestone in the celebration of Christmas and has become a tradition that has spread throughout the world and continues to this day. For this reason, the Parroquia of Santa Creu de Palma wanted to commemorate this milestone with a series of events such as exhibitions, conferences and concerts.

Sant Francesc d’Assís Nativity Scene: programme of events

There will be four lectures, a round table discussion and two concerts.

  • They will begin on Tuesday 28th November with Magdalena Riera, who will introduce, at 7 pm, La Betlemística a Mallorca, and Pere Terrassa, who will then present La restauració del betlem de Santa Creu: un cas singular (The Restoration of the Santa Creu Nativity Scene: A Singular Case).
  • On 12th December, at 7.30 pm, Francisco Manuel Valiñas will give his lecture Hacia la definición del belén: del gótico al rococó (Towards the definition of the nativity scene: from Gothic to Rococo).
  • And on 14th December, also at 19.30h, José Antonio Goñi will give the lecture El ciclo litúrgico del Adiento y la Navidad, la tradición del Belén (The liturgical cycle of Advent and Christmas, the tradition of the Nativity Scene). All the conferences will be held in the Oratory of Sant Llorenç (crypt) of Santa Creu.
  • On Tuesday 19 December, at 7.30 p.m., there will be a round table discussion and presentation of the documentary on the restoration of the nativity scene in the parish of Santa Creu by Alfredo Claret and Pere Terrassa from the Xicaranda workshop and Pablo Pérez and Pablo Portillo from the CYRTA workshop in Seville.
  • As for the concerts, on Saturday the 30th of December, the Orfeó Balear will be giving a Christmas concert, with Daniel Mulet as conductor and Bartomeu Manresa as organist. It will be held in the church of Santa Creu at 20.30h.
  • And on Saturday 6th January 2024, the Epiphany Concert, by Bartomeu Manresa on the organ, Cristina Van Roy, soprano, and Samuel García, trumpet, in Santa Creu, at 20.30h.

The full programme is available here.

Restoration of the Santa Creu nativity scene ensemble

The parish church of Santa Creu in Palma has carried out the restoration of its historic nativity scene during the year 2023, claiming a set of pieces from different periods, invoices, materials and origins, which nevertheless make up a nativity scene of great interest. This was explained by the parish’s heritage curator, Antoni Pons, and the director of Xicaranda, Alfredo Claret, the restoration workshop that developed the project with Pere Terrassa in charge. The result will be on display from 28 November, during the first of the events held by the parish on the occasion of the anniversary of Greccio.