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Nativity Scenes in the Vipava Valley

Miraculous Cultural Legacy

Crèches hold a special place in the rich Christian heritage of the Vipava Valley which reflects in the numerous churches and important monasteries dotting the region. Over the centuries, religious customs and rituals have been passed down through generations. Setting up Nativity scenes at Christmas is arguably the most delightful Christian tradition that has long exceeded its original spiritual dimension, providing a source of inspiration to professional artists, amateurs, craftsmen and organizers of traditional Christmas events well into the present day.

In the Vipava Valley, putting up Nativity scenes is a deeply familial affair. However, crèche scenes can also be found outside private homes. Carefully designed and beautifully crafted Nativity scenes are put up in churches, and, to the delight of hikers, also on rather unexpected places such as random niches along popular hiking trails.

Attracting more and more visitors every year, the real treat of the Vipava Valley around Christmas is the traditional display of Nativity scenes.

In some places the scenes are put up a whole week before Christmas and in others only a couple of days in advance. The scenes are quite often amazing pieces of craftsmanship. Some might amaze you with their original design and breathtaking figures, while others might leave a lasting impression on account of their layout. But all of them are there to celebrate the true message of Christmas. Outdoor Nativity scenes are the perfect backdrop for an accompanying Christmas programme and for mingling with the locals in an atmospheric holiday setting with bright Christmas lights. The distinctive architecture of the ancient villages of the region provides a unique stage for the crèche scenes. Thanks to the world famous local hospitality, your visit of the Nativity scenes in the Vipava Valley will surely become one of your most treasured Christmas memories.

A tip for you: visit the indoor Nativity displays on Sveta Gora and in Vipavski Križ in the afternoon, and reserve your evenings for a casual stroll down the streets of Vipava, Vipavski Križ and Tabor above Dornberk, which are randomly lined with crèche scenes. Finish the day at a stand with outstanding local wine. The near-by inns offer locally inspired comfort food to warm you up.

Programme 2019

Sveta Gora above Nova Gorica
18th Display of Nativity Scenes with International Attendance, 16 Deceber 2019 to 5 January 2020

Upon the opening of the exhibition on 16 December 2019, a brief cultural programme commencing at 2.30 pm will take place in the Basilica on Sveta Gora, followed by a blessing of the crèches in the Frančišek Hall.

Vipavski Križ
Nativity Scenes on various locations, 15 December 2019 to 5 January 2020

Opened on 15th December at 5 pm, the exhibition will be available for viewing daily from 2 pm to 8 pm from 16 December 2019 up until 5 January 2020.

Christmas Story with a Living Nativity Scenes, 26 and 27 December 2019 at 5, 6 and 7 pm
Living nativity scenes tableau will be set up in the streets and piazzas of Vipavski Križ, accompanied by carolling and light effects.

Outdoor Nativity Scenes in Vipavski Križ, 20 December 2019 to 6 January 2020
The residents of Vipavski Križ put up their Nativity scenes on the streets, in front of their homes or in street-facing windows. A walk through this tiny medieval town during Christmas makes for a truly memorable experience.

Nativity Scene and Wine Chalet in Vipava, 21 December 2019 to 1 January 2020

Over 100 Nativity scenes put up in shop displays and private homes will create a magical Christmas ambience throughout Vipava. From 21 December through 1 January, a wooden chalet will be selling mulled wine on the main piazza. A cultural and light entertainment programme will be held on the venue adjacent to the chalet.

Tabor above Dornberk
Nativity scene under the starry sky, 22 December 2019 at 7 pm

The opening of the starlit nativity scene features Christmas carols, mulled wine and tea. The blessing of the central crib will be followed by a walk across the village, touring the scenes created by the locals which will be staying up all month.