Tag Archives: Italy

  • National Christmas Center in Pennsylvania displays historical nativity sets year around

    Where to See Nativity Sets Year-Around in America

    It is easy to get into the Christmas spirit in December when carols are playing everywhere you go, and the stores are filled with holiday displays. But what if you want to keep the feeling of Christmas all year long? You’re in luck. There are some museums, churches and retailers in America that offer nativity

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  • Santon figurines on shelf of store in France

    4 Amazing Nativity Set Traditions from Europe

    There is perhaps no more meaningful way to celebrate the birth of Christ than by displaying a crèche. Since St. Francis of Assisi staged the first nativity scene in 1223, the idea of the Christmas crèche has spread throughout the world. Since the crèche is both a representation of faith and an art form, many

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  • Handmade nativity scene by Fonantini

    How Fontanini Became the Most Famous Nativity Sets in the World

    If you grew up with a nativity set in your home that was a family heirloom, chances are pretty good that is was a Fontanini Nativity set. The Fontanini tradition dates back to the late 1800s when company founder Emanuele Fontanini began creating crèche figures in the little town of Bagni di Lucca located in

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  • Nativity scene exhibition in Europe

    Creche Traditions in Europe: A History

    The nativity scenes we know and recognize today have their roots in centuries of European traditions dating back to the 12th century. These early nativity scenes were usually made of terra cotta and were displayed year round in churches in the 1300s. Historians believe that around the year 1289, artist Arnolfo di Cambio carved one

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  • How Nativity Scene Traditions Developed in America

    American crèche traditions started in the 18th century with a small group of Protestant immigrants who brought their Christmas customs to their new homeland in the New World. The United Brethren from Herrnhut, commonly called the Moravians, was founded in Bohemia during the 15th century (in what is now the Czech Republic). On Christmas Eve

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  • depiction of Christ birth in art

    The Art of the Nativity: Paintings

    It comes as no surprise that one of the world’s best-loved stories – the story of the birth of Jesus – has been the subject of many artists’ work over the centuries. One of the oldest known paintings of the Nativity is a faded fresco on the Roman catacombs of St. Sebastiano. It bears the

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