The giant Christmas nativity scene in Vila Real de Santo António returns for the 15th year and is going for a record with 5,000 figures on display.

This must be the largest scene in the country, it fills an entire hall, and uses 20 tons of sand, four tons of stone powder and 2,500 kilos of cork, according to the council.

The Nativity scene occupies an area of ​​more than 220 square meters in the António Aleixo Cultural Center, and can be visited daily between December 2 and January 7, 2018.

This year’s display took more than 40 days and 2,500 hours of work to create but work on the tiny figures and individual scenes started a year ago.

There also is 160 square meters of moss and a giant platform under which all the technical stuff goes on for the animation, water features and illumination.

The fun of this Nativity scene is in the mechanical figures and other moving parts.

This year the scene includes a model of the city obelisk and the old huts at Monte Gordo beach. There is a religious element with Christian and rustic scenes.

The VRSA Giant Crib is organised by Augusto Rosa and Teresa Marques, both of whom work for the council, and the collaboration of Joaquim Soares, Telmo Crispim, João Gomes and many volunteers who joined the project.

The entrance costs just 50 cents which will go to the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of VRSA to help its work with children at risk.

The giant crib of Vila Real de Santo António is open to the public at the António Aleixo Cultural Center until January 7, 2018. It can be visited daily from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On January 1st it will be open from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of The Portugal Resident

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