A Christmas display museum? That’s right. In a city that’s famous for nativity scenes, the Museo del Belem has gone from a seasonal gallery to an all-year affair.
The main attraction is the light and sound display downstairs. Three sides of a darkned room are given over to large dioramas which are dramatically lit to a soundtrack which tells the story of the conception and birth of Jesus and through to the flight into Egypt.
Duration: 30-60 minutes (show approximately 15 minutes)
Hours: 11am-2pm, 6-9pm.
Address: Calle Circo (no number), Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
More info: Website
Upstairs you will find dozens of smaller scenes, some of the nativity, others more modern depictions of Christmas life in Andalucia and Jerez. They are all detailed and impressive, but none so much as the Nativity of Napoli. Originally built in the 17th or 18th century, it stretches across almost all of one wall and looks to be almost two meters deep.
Presently, all material is in Spanish, but there are plans to create multi-lingual signage and audio guides, based on tourist interest.
The museum isn’t for everyone, but is an interesting viewpoint into the holiday traditions of Jerez, of the craft, and is a pleasant way to spend some time between bodegas.