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Mallorcan Nativity Scenes

belen_sang

One of the many delights of pre-Christmas time in Mallorca every year, apart from the switching-on of the Christmas lights, is the display of the Beléns (Betlems in Catalan, nativity scenes). You will find a fair dozen of Belén displays all over the island capital, not to speak of all the pueblos on the island.

One of the most popular Beléns on display in Palma is the one at the Ajuntament de Palma. One of the oldest Beléns is the one at the Monasterio de la Purísima Concepción, the monastery of the Caputxines, combining elements from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries (declared a BIC Bien de Interés Cultural). One of the most stunningly displayed Beléns is shown at the Claustre de Sant Antoniet, in Calle Sant Miquel. Also worth a visit is the display of Beléns on show at the C & A building (entrance from Calle Sant Jaume).

Two major Beléns in Palma can be viewed all year round, a fact that not everybody is aware of. A 15th century historical Belén is on full public view all year at the Iglesia de la Sang (see photo), at Plaça Hospital. This one is claimed to be the oldest Belén in all of Spain. Admission is free. An 18th century Belén Napolitano, composed of almost 2,000 pieces (also declared a BIC), can be seen at Palau March (Fundación Bartolomé March), near Palma’s Parlament building (in the building where you can also find the Gran Café Cappuccino). You will have to pay to see this one, but its remarkable splendour is well worth the admission charge of € 3,60.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The date: November 27th, 2008. The time was 17:29:58.

2 replies »

  1. I would like to know more about the Belen at the Iglesia de la Sang – who made it – how many pieces – when is the church open so that it can be viewed? I write a Guide to Permanent Nativity Displays in the United States and Around the World, and I would like to include the belen of the Iglesia de la Sang. Thank you very much.

    Me gustaria saber mas del belen de la Iglesia de la Sang – quien lo construyo – cuantas piezas tiene – las horas cuando la Iglesia esta abierta… Escribo un Guia a Exhibiciones Permanentes de Belenes en los Estados Unidos y alrededor del munto. Me gustaria incluir el belen de la Iglesia de la Sang. Muchisimas gracias.

    Judith Davis

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