Cultural Christmas in Spain

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Cultural Christmas in Spain

The Nativity Scene at Madrid’s Royal Palace comprises over 200 figurines in the style of Neapolitan crèches, as well as some others after the Genoese and Spanish traditions.
The Nativity Scene at Madrid’s Royal Palace comprises over 200 figurines in the style of Neapolitan crèches, as well as some others after the Genoese and Spanish traditions.

The switch-on of the traditional Christmas lights marked the beginning of the Christmas season 2017-2018. This year, many Spanish towns and cities chose to give Christmas a cultural twist, organising all kinds of family activities.

In Madrid, there will be as many as 800 events, including the eighteenth-century Neapolitan Crèche at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (until 15 January) or the Prince Crèche at the Royal Guards’ Room in the Royal Palace, first set up by King Charles III (until 14 January).

The Prado Museum has joined the celebrations with the special itinerary, Christmas at the Prado Museum, including some of the most outstanding pieces in the Museum’s collection from the early fifteenth to the late eighteenth century and revealing the relevance of the Nativity motifs to the minds of European painters.

Cervantes and his legacy

In Alcalá de Henares, the Cervantes House Museum is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of The Trials of Persiles and Sigismunda with an exhibition of the drawings made by Andrés Rossi for the 1802 edition of the book, presented by the Spanish National Library (until 11 March, free admission).

Another exhibition, Miguel de Cervantes’s Books, focuses on the books, prints and drawings that inspired the rich world created by the Spanish writer (until 6 May).

Children’s workshops and Nativity scenes

In Avilés, the Museum of City History is hosting ‘Christmas at the Museum’, a programme of workshops for children aged 4 to 12 introducing the city’s history and heritage from the Roman era with a Christmas-based approach.

In Elche, the Local Residents’ Association is staging its 36th Nativity Scene on 6 January, featuring over 40 performers to recreate the events associated with the birth of Jesus and the settings where they took place. A 3000m2village will be recreated in the Palm Grove, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city of Seville has planned lots of activities too. The most important is the Winter Palace at the Alcázar – a series of educational and recreational activities illustrating the various periods of the iconic building (until 5 January).

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is hosting, through 28 January, 1917. ‘Picasso in Barcelona’, displaying 70 works that evoke Picasso’s stay in Barcelona from June to November 1917.

This is only a sample of the cultural activities offered by Spanish cities during the Christmas season.