A Society Dedicated to the Christmas Nativity



Permanent Exhibits -- International


With the Third Edition of A Guide to Permanent Nativity Displays we included a Ranking System for some of the Nativity displays listed. We continue it here. Since in many instances we have depended on internet websites for information, a personal visit could result in a ranking change.

Please let us know if you visit any of the places outlined in the Guide and tell us about your experience.

**** Must See. Nativity Museum – Large collection within a museum, church or other public place – Single Nativity definitely worth a visit

*** Should See. Sizeable collection within a museum, church, or other public place.

** Worth A Visit if in Area. Some Nativities interspersed among other displays in a museum, church, or other public place.

* Interesting. Nativity item that may prove interesting to visit if already in the area.

To Explore. Exact status to be determined. Let us know if you visit.

Be sure to check before visiting any of these displays. Hours, viewing times,exhibits, and even locations, often change.

To contact us: judydavis12@comcast.net - or
Judith Davis, 6520 Lagunitas Avenue, El Cerrito CA 9453


(see Steyr also – very close-by)
The Mechanical Manger - 300 movable linden wood figures pass through rich biblical scenery to the music of a Bohemian cylinder
organ. Created by Karl Klauda (1855-1939). Guided tours. Open: late Nov-Jan 6, 9-5. Varying hours Christmas week. Groups up to 15
all year by appt. (phone: +43 (0) 676 7252 50935 website: www.pfarre-christkindl.at)

*** Pottmesser Manger, one of the largest mangers in the world – 778 figures on a surface of 58m2. Figures created by Ferdinand
Pottmesser, starting in 1955. (see tour information above)

Dornbirn   (In the Bregenzerwald / Bregenz Forest at the entrance to the Rappenlochsschlucht/Canyon)  Krippenmuseum.  Collection of

local Nativities and others from around the world.  Open: May 1-Jan 6, Tu-Sun, 10-5.  Groups can visit year round with reservation by  (phone:  +43 (0) 5572  25842   or  email krippenmuseum.dornbirn@cable.vol.at  -
www.krippenmuseum-dornbirn.at )

(a small mining town about 80 km south of Steyr) Krippenhaus Eisenerz (Eisenerz Crib House) Bergmanns-platz. Run by local
Friends of the Creche Association. About 80 locally produced cribs of all sizes. Open Dec 1-Jan 6, M-Su 10-12, 2-5; year round by appt.
Booking is required. Admission charged. Contact Herbert Krump, Hieflauerstrasse 44, 8790 Eisenerz. (phone: +43 (0) 3848-3615)

Fulpmes imStubaital
Tiroler Krippenmuseum Fulpmes.  Kirchplatz at Bahnstrasse 11.  Some 70 Nativities of different types and styles.  Opened in 2008.  Open Tu-Sun, 10-12, 2-6; closed Mon. (phone:  +43 (0) 5225 62 908 -  www.stubaier.krippenmuseum.at ; click flag on left for English)

Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Museum of Tyrolean Popular Arts) Universitätsstrasse 2.  Many Nativities among its extensive collections.  Extended display at Christmas.  Open M-Su 9-5.  Closed special holidays.  (website:  http://www.tiroler-volkskunstmuseum.at  then EN button on right;   email:volkskunstmuseum@tirol.gr.at)

Maria Taferl  (west of Melk). Krippenmuseum (Crib Museum).  Maria Taferl #17.  More than 300 figures in the mechanical crib of sound and light tell the history of this place of pilgrimage.  Open  Jan-Dec, daily 8-5.  (phone: +43 (0) 7413 2780 -email: info@wstechnic.at. - during the winter by advance reservation with Herr Rudolf Brandtner at +43 (0) 676-7309513)

Mariazell (150 km sw of Vienna, road to Kratz). Mechanical crib with 130 moving figures in 12 New Testament scenes – built by Mr. Bruno
Habertheuer and available for viewing year-round in his home at Kalvarienberg 1. To visit, go to the Main Square and ask for
directions to the home of the Krippen family, Familie Habertheuer. (Phone: +43 (0) 3882 2108)

Pinzgauer Heimatmuseum Schloss Ritzen (Ritzen Castle, Pinzgau Heritage Museum). (south, slightly west of Salzburg).  Large
collection of cribs.  Open: mid-June-mid-Sep, daily 10-12, 2-5; mid-Sept-mid-June, Wed and weekends 2-4.

(see Christkindlalso – very close)
Museum der Stadt Steyr (Steyr Municipal Museum). Grünmarkt 26.  On display are the Bethlehem Nativity, received from that city in 2001,  and the Count Josef Lamberg Crib Figures, more than 200 stick-puppet figures on display on a huge Nativity hill.  A stick-puppet show is presented during the holiday season – by reservation.  Open:  Apr-Oct, Tu-Sun 10-4; Nov-Mar, W-Sun, 10-4; Dec daily 10-5.  (phone/fax:: +43 (0) 7252 575348 – email: gegenhuber@steyr.gv.at  -  website:  www.steyr.at)

Wenns  (in the Pitztal Valley)   Krippenmuseum in an old house called Stamserhaus.  Open: July-Oct, W-Sat, 1-6.  Groups year
round by calling Peter Riml at +43 (0) 664-2521676.

Österreichisches Museum für Volkskunde (Austrian Folklore Museum) - Laudongasse 15-19. Austrian Nativities.among other
exhibits. Open 10-5 Tu-Sun; Closed Mon, holidays. (phone: +43 (0)1-4068905 - fax: +43 (0)1-4085342 http://www.volkskundemuseum.at )

Zirl   Heimat-und Krippenmuseum der Marktgemeinde Zirl.  Dorfplatz 2.  Collection of cribs from Zirl area.  Open: July 1-Nov 30, Sat-Sun,
2-5;  Jan 6-Feb 2, Sat-Sun 2-7.

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(same site asGermany,Losheim)
(east of Malmedy, Belgium – southeast of Monschau) “Krippana”, on the Belgian-German border in old customs building.  Hergersberg 4.  Museum contains over 200 Nativities from around the world + other related exhibits.  Open Tu-Su 10-6, closed Mon  (website:  www.krippana.de)

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São Paulo Museu de Arte Sacra, Avenida Tiradentes 676, Ponte Pequena.
18th Century Neapolitan presepio with 1620 pieces.  Newly installed 2002.  Also Brazilian and other Nativities on display. Open Tues-Sun 10-6.  (phone/fax:  +55-11-3326-1373 or 5393 or 3336)

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Musée de L’Oratoire du Mont-Royal, St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal, 3800 Queen Mary Road.  Collection of more than 1200 Nativities from over 100+ countries.  More than 200 on display year round.   Open daily 10-4:30.  (514-733-821, ext. 2793  -     http://www.saint-joseph.org)

Village in the Saguenay Region of Quebec, near Chicoutimi, with a life-sized hand-carved crèche at the entrance to the village and some
20 life-size crèches in the village park, all hand-carved by Quebec artists. There is a large collection of Nativities from around the world
at the local church, most of which are on display year-round. During the Christmas holidays almost every home has a locally-carved crèche
in front. Advance appointment necessary to enter the church in the off season. Also, be fore-warned, very little English is spoken in this area.

(about 103 km ne Quebec City) In the local church, which dates from 1779. Exhibition of about 20 locally-made crèches. One is a large
crèche made by 21 different local wood-carvers. It includes a pregnant Mary. Open Jun-Oct. Masterpiece also on display Dec-Jan.
(phone: 418-598-3023)

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Česká Třebová   Městské muzeum (Municipal Museum)  Stare náměstí 78  or  the Depository at Semanínská ulice 2055.  Town is center of large painted cribs done in paste board.  Several large cribs, including one movable, are on display in the Depository, which is apart from the Museum building.  Open only on Tues, 8-1.  It is best to call in advance: +420-465-534-516.   (http://ct.upce.cz/ctb99   Website in Czech, but clicking on boxes at left brings up some English, good photos.

Krkonošské muzeum v Jilemnice (Giants Mountains Regional Museum)  Zamek 75.  Large mechanical crib of 142 figures, which took Jáchym Metelka 30 years to build  (1883-1913).  Figures move to music, both driven by a mechanical clock – no electricity involved.  Also on view: large crib & two smaller.  Visit by conducted tour only.  Open Sep-Ju, Tu-Sun 8-12, 1-4; Jul-Aug ‘til 5; closed Mon

(40 mi. ne of Ceske Budejovice)   Muzeum Jindřichohradecka..  Balbinovo Námĕsti. (Balbin Square).  Vast mechanized Nativity scene with 1398 figures; over 100 move. Made by Tomáš Krýza (1838-1918). Media-type presentation available in English.  Visit by conducted tour only.  Open daily Jun-Sept 8:30-12, 1-5.  Closed Mondays and Jan 1-Jun 1 .  At the present time there is some restoration work being done, so check website (www.mjh.cz) before going.

(30 km west of Prague).  Muzeum betlémů Karlstejn  (Nativity Museum), in old 14th Century building below Karlstejn Castle.  Extensive collection, including largest puppet Nativity in Czech Republic – Karlstejn Royal Nativity Scene, with movable figures of prominent people in Czech history.  Open:  Jan-Mar,  Sa,Su 10-5; Apr-Dec. Tu-Sun 10-5; closed Mondays.

Kryštofovo Údoli
(Christopher’s Valley) About 30 km outside Liberec. A small village with beautiful folk architecture. Private display of more than 25 cribs
on 2nd floor of inn, “U Kryštofa”. 3 very large cribs, one movable, oldest from 1846. Open: Sa, Su 1-4.

The Kuks Forest is the site of an important complex of Baroque sculptures carved by Matthias Bernard Brown. One of the most
important (carved between 1717-1732) is a grouping of in-situ rock carvings of a Nativity scene. Over the years the works have greatly
eroded, so artist Leos Prysinger has created two reproductions – one painted, one plain – and these are on display in the Museum at the site. Open: Tu-Sun 9-5.

Nova Paka
Podkrkonosské muzeum. Suchardova ulice 68. In this regional museum are exhibited one large wooden crib and some folk figures
from other cribs. Special exhibit at Christmas. Open: Mar 1 to Nov 30, Tu-Sat 8-12, 1-4:30.

Olešnice v Orlickýchhorách
(in the Eagle Mountains northwest of Hradec Kralove)  In the Town Hall is a hand-carved mechanical wooden crèche (1930-1944) never completed due to the accidental death of the carver, Joseph Utz.  While cutting wood with a circular saw he was hit in the head by a piece of wood and died.  It is said that the crib has one of the most complex mechanical movements ever seen in such a crèche.   Open: Sa 9-11, Sun 9-11 and 1-3; other times by appt.

(phone: +420 (0) 494-660-226)
Paseky nadJizerou
Krkonošské Muzeum v Paseka nad Jizerou. (Giant Mountains Regional Museum) Mechanical crib and paper crib. Open: Dec-Oct,
Tu-Su 10-12, 2-4.

Narodni muzeum (National Museum) Ethnography Museum, branch at Kinskeho letohradek (Smichov). One large crib from Pribram, old
silver mining region, and other fine parts of cribs. Open: Oct-Apr 9-5; May-Sept 10-5; closed Mondays.
(www.nm.cz English. Click MUSAION-Ethnographic Exhibit)

(western part of Bohemia in Sumava Mountains, near border with Germany)    Muzeum Šumavy.  námĕstí Svobody 40.  Mechanical
crib built by two carvers in 2003, with the old architecture of the town of Suslice as a background.   Open: May-Oct, Tu-Sat 9-5, Sun 9-12; closed Mondays.
Muzeum Vysočiny.  Náměsti Zachariase z Hradce.  In south-west wing of Telč State Castle, located on the beautiful Renaissance square.  Lovely mechanized crèche from the mid-1800s.  Telč skyline is back-ground for crib. Open: Apr & Oct, Tu-Sun 9-12, 1-4; May-Sept, Tu-Sun 9-12, 1-5.  Closed Nov-Mar.
Hrad Roštejn.  (Roštejn Castle).  7 km north of Telč & 7 km south of Třešt, near village of Doupĕ.  Late 19th Century wooden crèche from Třešt with 450+ figures. Must take guided tour to see crèche, which is at top of castle tower.  Open: Apr-Sep, Sat-Sun, holidays, 9-12, 1-4; May, Tu-Sun  9-12, 1-5; Jun-Aug, Tu-Su 9-6; closed Nov-Mar.

Třebechovice podOrebem
Muzeum Betlémů.  (Museum of Christmas Cribs), Masarykovo námĕstí 24.  Large permanent exhibit of historic and mechanical Nativities, plus a special display at Christmas. Best known is the Třebechovice Crèche made by Josef Probost and Josef Kapucian at the end of the 19th Century.  It is a mechanical crèche of more than 2000 pieces, 170 of which are mechanized.  THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW BUILDING FROM MAY 2, 2011-June 2013.

(60 km sw of Brno)  Muzeum Vysočiny (Highlands Museum). Váldštejn Castle, Zámek 1.  Crib making began in the late 18th –
early 19th Century in Třebič, and exhibits trace the development of the mostly paper/paste board sets, but also some carved wood Nativities
characteristic of the region.  There is also a large mechanized Nativity.  Open daily 4-10. Closed Monday.  THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED FOR TWO TO THREE YEARS FOR RENOVATION.

Muzeum Vysočiny. (Highlands Museum). námĕstí T G Masaryka 3. Exhibits provide comprehensive view of Třešt crèche-making
tradition, almost 200 years old. Open: Jun-Aug, Nov-Jan, Tu-Su 9-12, 1-5.         www.trest.cz 

Usti nad Orlici
Mestske Muzeum.  (Town Museum).  In Hernychova vila (Hernych’s Villa).  17 Listopadu #72 (17th of November #72)  One room contains some 15 carved and painted Nativities.  Open: Th –Fr 9-11:30 and 12:30-5; Sa-Su 1:30-5; closed Mondays and last Saturday if each month.

Krkonošské Muzeum v Vrchlabí (Giants Mountains Regional Museum in Vrchlabí)  Husova třída 213.  Several wood and
terracotta boxed cribs, some from the 19th Century.  Open: Tu-Sun 8-12, 1-4, Jul & Aug 8-12, 1-5.  Closed Mondays and the month of Sept.

Vysoké nad Jizerou 
Vlastivĕdné muzeum (Regional Folk Museum)  Dr. K. Farského 130.  Large mechanical crib, 1895, (4m long) by Václav Metelka, two smaller ones, plus some figures.  Open: Jan-Dec, Tu-Sun, 8:30-12, 1-4.  Closed Monday.

Svatava Vizinova Zabrdske Betlemy.  (Svatava Vizinova’s Crib Museum)  On the second floor of an old pub.  Some 700 paper Nativities displayed in stacked packing boxes.  Most have been constructed by Svatava Vizinova herself.  It is probably best to call before going ((0) 420 737 658 058.  By car, southwest from Prague to Strakonice, Volary, Vlachovo Brezi, Husinec – about two hours.


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Museo de Las Conceptas. Hermano Miguel 6-33 at Juan Jaramillo. Collection of Ecuadorian Nativities which reflects the locally rich
culture of Cuenca and the Andean region. Large Nativity set up at Christmas. On Christmas Eve an 8-hour Living Nativity pageant takes
place in the town square. Open: Mon-Fri 9-1, 3-6; Sat, 9-1. (telefax: 593-7-830625)

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Museum at Santons Fouque. 65, cours Gambetta, route de Nice.  Workshops, Museum, Shop.  Open daily 10-7, except Christmas Day.
Museon Arlaten, 29 rue de la République.  Large range of Nativities from 18th-20th centuries.  Museum closed for renovation, 2009-2014.

Cathédrale Saint Lazare, place St-Louis. 4 stone capitals, sculpted in twelfth century by master craftsman Gislebertus, tell the story of the
Wise Men: before Herod, adoring the Christ Child, being warned by an Angel, and the Flight to Egypt of the Holy Family. Can be seen “at
eye level” in the Salle Capitulaire, one floor up from the church

Blain    (40 Km north of Nantes).  Musée de Blain.  Place Jean-Guihard.  Displays include a 10,000-piece collection of Fèves (the favors put into the Three Kings or Epiphany Cake) and a large collection of  cribs from around the world.   Open:  Tu-Fri 2-6, Sat 2-5:30.
(website in French:  http://www.musee-de-blain.fr)

Musée du pays Brignolais (Brignolais Regional Museum ).  Place Palais des Comtes de Provence.  On exhibit is the mechanical crèche of Abbe Geraud, built in 1952 and originally displayed in the Saint-Sauveur Church.  Open: Apr 1-Sep 30, W-Sat 9-12, Sun 9-12, 3-5.  Oct-Mar 10-12, 2:30-5; Sun 10-12.3-5.      (website in French:  http://www.museebrignolais.com)

Carpentras   Musée Comtadin-Duplessis.  234, boulevard Albert Durand.  Collections of santons and Provencal cribs.  Open:  Apr 1-Sep 30,    10-12, 2-6; closed Tuesdays and bank holidays.

Chaource 200 km se Paris, near Troyes). Eglise de Sainte-Jean Baptiste. 16th Century moveable crèche with 22 carved, painted, and gilded figures. Two tables show Adoration of the Shepherds, and, of the Magi. One 16th Century cabinet shows life of the Virgin and Christ.

Chaumont    Le musée de la Crèche.  Place du Palais/Esplanade de la Basilique.  A grand collection of old cribs acquired by the Town of Chaumont in 1976 – 18th Century Neapolitan presepi, 19th Century French cribs, the Holy Child in wax from the 16th-19th Centuries.  Open:  Apr 1-Sep 30, 10-12, 2-6; closed Tues and holidays (email:  musee@ville-chaumont.fr)

Ecouen Musèe de la Renaissance in Chateau d’Ecouen. (north of Paris, route to Compiègne). 18th Century Neapolitan Nativity. Not usually on display but may be possible to see by emailing the Director of the Museum in advance. Open daily 9:30-12:45, 2-5:15. Closed Tues. (phone: 01 34 38 38 50; fax: 01 34 38 38 78;alain.erlande-brandenburg@culture.gouv.fr)
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Musèe du Santon et Traditions de Provence.  Place de la Colonne.  Contains 2000 santons, 60 movable figures.  Work of more than 95 santonniers from all over Provence.  Open every day 10-6.

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence.  2, rue Mirabeau.  Large late 18th-early 19th century Provencal crèche. 18 3/8” high x 27½” across x 10” deep.  Also a collection of Provencal santons.  Open: Jun-Sep 10-7; Oct-May 10-12:30, 2-5:30; closed Nov 5-Dec 5, Tues from Oct- May, holidays.      ( info@museesdegrass.com)

Musée des Santons, Ancien hôtel de ville. Small but interesting collection of 17th and 18th Century crèches. Open daily 9-5. (phone:
+33 (0) 490 543439)

Le Paradou    “La Petite Provence”. 75, Avenue de la Vallée des Beaux, the Fontveille-Maussane-les-Alpilles road.  Over 400 santons, crèches displayed in a miniature village. All 1/6 true size. Open every day 10-6:30, July-Aug 10-9.   (http://www.lapetiteprovenceduparadou.com, press English)

Le Val    Musée de Santons. Rue Fours.  Small collection of French santons and crèches from around the world.  Includes a movable crèche. 
Open: July-Aug, Nov – Dec daily; Jan-Feb closed weekends; Mar-June, Sep-Oct, closed second weekend.

Musée de la Nativité – La Crèche Animée, 21, Quai Saint Jean. 3 sections: 14 dioramas depicting life of Jesus from the Annunciation to
the scene in the Temple - movable scene of life in Palestine in Biblical times - animated scene of everyday life in the Pyrenees
toward end of 19th Century. Open Apr-Oct, Daily 9-12, 1:30-7. (phone: +33 (0) 5- 62-94-71-00 fax: +33 (0) 5 – 62-42-17-17)

Museum at Marcel Carbonel Studios, 47 Rue Neuve Sainte Catherine.  Local works at the workshop, and cribs from around the world at the museum.  Shop & Museum open: Jan-Nov, Tu-Sa and Dec, M-Sa, 10-12:30, 2:30-6:30;  Workshop open M-Th 8-1, 2-5:15. (http://www.santonsmarcelcarbonel.com / English button)

Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires du Terroir Marseillais,  7 miles northeast at Château-Gombert, 5 place des Heros.  Several crèches from naïf to XVIII Century to present day.  Open: M- F, 10:30-1, 2-5; Sa,Su 2-5.

***Musée du Santon, Château de l’Aumerade, Route de Puget-Ville.  Private collection of M. Henri Fabre of more than 1800 santons from 18th Century to the present arranged in a crèche.  Open every day but Sun and holidays. Hours vary depending on season.

Saint Cezaire-sur-Siagne
(15 km south of Grasse, French Riviera)  Le Village aux Santons (Santon Village)  Marlene Maure, 7 rue des Poilus.  More than 300 santons, many animated, are set in a typical Provencal village scene.  A crèche is part of the scene.  Open every day.


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Altötting (ne of Munich) Mechanical crib. Kreszentiaheimstrasse 18.130 wood figures hand carved by Oberammergau masters between 1926-1928. Open daily Mar-Dec 9-5. Jan-Feb, call +49 (0) 8671 6653)

Annaberg-Buchholz   (south of Dresden)    Erzgebirgsmuseum, Grosse Kirchgasse 16.  German Nativities.  One display is a Weihnachtsberg, a mechanical model of a mine, combined with a Nativity and forest scenes.  Open daily,  10-5.

Augsburg Basilica of Sts. Ulrich und Afra, Ulrichplatz 15. Lovely hand-carved altar with Nativity scene. Open daily 9-5.

Traidcasten building next to Marienmünster (Minster of St.
Mary).  Collection of Nativities from around the world.  Open
to public between Christmas and Epiphany, and for group visits anytime, on request.  Contact church office – fax:  +49-8807-9489420.

Gasthaus Roter Ochs.  Kirchplatz 3.  Family krippe begun in 1945 and expanded over the years. Landscape changes during the year, following the biblical cycle.  Open Wed-Sat after 5:30; Sun 11:30-5. Closed M, Tu.

(no. of Munich at end of SBahn (S1)   Domberg Museum Freising, Domberg 21.  Small but excellent collection of some 27 European Nativities, + an 18th Century Neapolitan presepio of 135 figures, 73 animals, 350 other pieces.  Open Tu-Su 10-5.  Closed Mondays and special holidays.

Museum Aschenbrenner.  Loisachstrasse 44.  Small collection of cribs among other exhibits.  Open daily, Tu-Su 11-5.   Closed Monday.     

(north of Aschaffenburg)  Krippenmuseum in the City Hall.    Hauptstrasse 114.  Small but interesting collection of Nativities. Open Advent 1 to Epiphany,Tu-Sat 2-6; Sun & holidays, 10-12, 2-6.  Closed all other times, but groups may visit year round by phoning  +49 (0) 6021 34910  or  +49 (0) 6021 42448

(20 km NW of Nuremberg)  Krippenmuseum Herzogenaurach.  Welker Bache Kirchweg 15.  Founded by the local Friends of the Creche in 1998.  Nativities from around the world, as well as those made by members of the Friends.  Open 1st Sun in Oct to Easter, every Sun 2-5.  Groups by appt. by phoning +49 (0) 9132 2906

(same site as Belgium,Büllingen)(east of Malmedy, Belgium – southeast of Monschau)            “Krippana”, on the Belgian-German border in old customs building. Prümer Strasse 55.  Museum contains over 200 Nativities from around the world + other related exhibits.  Open: Tu-Su 10-6, closed Mon.

Schwäbisches Krippenmuseum (Schwaben Crib Museum) (southwest of Munich on the A96). Hermelestrasse 4, in the former Jesuit College. Overview of Nativity story, life and passion of Jesus. Open daily 10-12, 2-5, except Monday, and by appointment. (phone:
+49 0 82 61-69 64 museen@mindelheim.de)

Bayerisches Nationalmuseum  (Bavarian National Museum) Prinzregentenstrasse 3.  Lower level devoted to extensive display of German cribs, with emphasis on Alpine and south Italian cribs from the 18th Century.  Open Tues-Sun, 10-5; Thurs, 10-8.  Closed Mon and major holidays.

At Oberschleissheim.  Schloss Schleissheim  (Schleissheim Castle)  Outskirts of Munich via S-Bahn 1:Oberschleissheim, Bus 292.  Altes Schloss, at Maximilianhof 1, contains “Gertrud Weinhold Collection” of Nativities, some 60-70 from Germany and around the world.  Open Apr-Sep, 9-6; Oct-Mar, 10-4.  Closed Monday.

Nuremberg    Germanisches Nationalmuseum (German National Museum)
Kartausergasse 1.  A small crib collection, three of which are on display year round – one from Innsbruck (c.1800), another from Thüringen (1920), a small commercially produced paper crib (1937).  Open: Tu-Sun 10-6, Wed 10-9 during Christmas season.
(phone:  +49 911- 1331-0   website: www.gnm.de – English site)

Oberammergau Museum. Dorfstrasse 8.  Collection of local cribs, including 18th/19th Century historical crib of over 200 pieces, so well-known that in 1872 the last Bavarian king, Ludwig II, visited Oberammergau to see it.  Open: Apr 1-Nov 6 and Nov 26-Jan 11, Tu-Sun 10-5; closed Mondays.

Oberau    (8 km from Garmisch-Partenkirchen).  Schmiedeweg 3.  Special crib of many pieces by Herr Reiser (1883-1962) plus several cribs from around the world.  Open: Jul-Nov, Wed 2-5, 1st Advent-1st Sun in Feb, daily 2-6.  Closed Mon, Dec 25, 31.

Oberstadion    Krippenmuseum.  Kirchplatz 5/1.  Some 160 cribs on display.  Open:
Feb-Oct, Wed-Sun, 2-5; Dec-Jan, Mon-Sat, 2-5, Sun 11-5.  Closed Nov.      (www.krippen-museum.de)

Rothenburg obder Tauber
Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum (German Christmas Museum),  Herrngasse 1.  Run by Käthe Wohlfahrt Company.  11 rooms, each displaying a different feature of Christmas.  Several paper crèches displayed, also a Baroque Tyrolean crib with 65 figures and a  crèche castle.  Open: in 2012, Jan 1-8, 10-5; Jan 14-Apr 5, Sat-Sun only, 11-4; Apr 7-Dec 23, daily 10-5:30; special hours during Christmas week.  Closed Good Friday.  Inquire by phone / email for special hours for groups.   (Phone: +49 (0) 9861-409365   Fax:+49 (0) 9861-409365  -   www.weihnachtsmuseum.de)

Schirgiswalde (in Saxony, near northern Czech border) Heimatmuseum “Carl Svoboda”. Hauptstrasse 11a. Several Bohemian cribs of the 19th & 20th Centuries. Open Tu 2-4 and Th 10-12, 2-4, or call or email in advance for an appt outside these hours. (phone: +49 (0) 3592 38660 email: stadt@schirgiswalde.de)

Schneeburg   Museum für Bergmannische Volkskunst  (Miners’ Folk Art Museum). Obere Zobelgasse 1 in Bortenreuther House (built 1725).  Nativities among other exhibits.

Seiffen   (sw of Dresden) Erzgebirgisches Spielzeugmuseum Seiffen (Seiffen Erz Mountains Toy Museum).  Hauptstrasse 73, Several cribs on display year round.  Open daily 9-5     (www.spielzeugmuseum-seiffen.de)

Straubing (40 km from Passau on der Donau). Karmelitenkirche (Carmelite Church). Mechanical crib with figures mounted on a wheel that turns– the figures do not move. Also a Ganzjähriges Krippe (Eternal Crib) with 300 hand-carved and dressed figures. For the best church + other Nativities visit contact Guido Scharrer of the Bavarian Crib Friends (Guido@Scharrer-online.de or Phone: 09421/81445 Fax:
09421/180704) before leaving home and again on arrival. He will be happy to show you around himself or have someone else do so.

Telgte   (12 mi. east of Münster on B51)      Museum Heimathaus Münsterland und Krippenmuseum.  In the historic district at Herrenstrasse 1-2.  The museums are closed from Jan. 31 to Nov. 12, 2011, for renovation.  The Krippenmuseum will be open for its annual exhibit from Nov. 12, 2011-Jan. 28, 2012, after which it will close again.  The combined museums will open again on April 28, 2012, under a new name, to be announced.  There will continue to be a display of Nativities in the new museum. 
www.museum-telgte.de         (phone: +44 (0) 2504/93120    e-mail:  museum@telgte.de)

Waldbreitbach   Krippenmuseum van Gustel Hertling.  Am Muhlenberg 3.  Over 100 cribs from around the world, collected by Gustel Hertling, some hundreds of years old, others, modern.  Open year round.  At Christmas time a Nativity covering 92 square meters is displayed in the parish church.

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Bethlehem Peace Museum. Salesian Convent.  316 Star Street. Collection of some 200 Nativities from around the Anglican Communion.  The Museum has no set days or hours.  The guard/attendant in the lobby will let people in to see the collection, but not after 4 p.m.  A donation may be required.  (Thanks to Rodney Allen Schwartz, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, for this information.)

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Museum of Ethnography.  Kossuth Lajos Square 12. A few Nativities as part of a Hungarian daily life exhibit.  Open Tu-Sun 10-6.  Check for holiday open/closed days.  (website:  www.museum.hu  - click
on flag for English)

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Amelia   (Terni region, Umbria).  Convento Francescano SS. Annunziata, 3 km
from Amelia at Strada Annunziata, 3.  Nativity and several dioramas made by Juan Mari Oliva (1907-1991) of Barcelona.  Open daily year round from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bolzano   Museo del Presepio nel Convento Muri di Gries, in the Roman tower of Abbazia. 18th Century presepio, exhibit showing present presepi production in Alto Adige, some 40 pieces of a group of folk art figures.  Open:  Sep-Jun on the 1st Sat of the month, 3-5;  from the 1st Sat in Advent-Feb 2, every Sat

Brembo deDalmine
Museo del Presepio.  Via XXV Aprile 179.  (near Bergamo).  Large collection from Italy and around the world.  Open: Nov-Jan, weekdays 2-6, Sun 9-12, 2-7; rest of year on Sundays 2-6. Groups every day with pre-paid reservation. (call +39 (0) 35.563383      website:  http://www.museodelpresepio.com)

Museo Palazzo Principesco Vescovile (Palace of the Prince Bishops).  Nativity collection on ground floor has works by two famous crib makers, Franz Xavier Nissl and Joseph Benedikt Probst.  Open:   Apr 1-Oct 31, Tu-Su; closed Mon; End Nov-Epiphany, daily 10-5. Closed Dec 24, 25.

Chiesa San Michele. In the sacristy are six cabinets containing some 67 Neapolitan figures, almost 12” tall, which at Christmas time are
displayed as a crib. Although not Nativity-related, there is a beautiful, intricate mosaic floor showing the expulsion of Adam and Eve from
Eden (17th century).

La Reggia, the Royal Palace – 18th Century Neapolitan presepio of Spanish Prince Charles of Bourbon, King of Naples, 1734, 1200 figures.  Open daily 9-6.  Closed Tuesdays.

Gardone Riviera   (east of Bergamo)  Museo del Divino Infante.  Via dei Colli.  Over 250 representations of the Baby and Child Jesus, including a large Neapolitan Nativity, the result of 30 years of collecting by Hiky Mayr.
Open from April-Aug, Dec-Jan, but days and times seem to change.  It would be wise to check the website before going.
(www.il-bambino-gesu.com.  Click on English.

Gazzano (northern Italy) “Paese del Presepio”, in the stable next to the Church of San Marco. A series of dioramas that tell the Nativity story, handcreated by Antonio Pigozzi. Open Dec 8-Jan 6, 10-7; rest of year Su 10-7 and by appointment. (phone: +39 (0) 522 803230 or (0) 340

Genova Brignoline Cloistered Nuns. Viale V.C.Bracelli, 13. Late 17th -early 18th Century crib with jointed wood figures by Giacomo Colombo.
La Madonetta Sanctuary. Baroque nativity, late 17th-early. 18th Century. (take Righi Funicular to St. Nicholas exit, walk up, ring bell,
ask to see presepio)
Church of the Nativity, built over the spot where in 1223 St. Francis organized an outdoor Nativity scene. Large presepio and Nativity
wall plaques inside. Small display of Nativities on second floor.

Grotto delloSmeraldo
(Emerald Grotto / along Amalfi Coast). At the bottom is an underwater Nativity scene with the Holy Family, donkey, cow. Take
elevator or stairs at Furore down to the sea, board boat to visit Grotto. Boats also go from Amalfi.
Lutago/AhrntalSouth Tyrol –Italy
Museo Maranatha/Krippenmuseum Maranatha Via Riobianco 17. Some cribs on display year round. Open: in Winter Nov 20- Easter –
Summer May 2-Nov 5, Mon-Sat, 9-12, 2-6; Sun 2-5. (phone/fax: +39 (0)474- 67-16-82 www.Krippenmuseum.com)

Macerata Museo Tipologico del Presepio, Palazzina Cassese, Via Maffeo Pantaleoni, 4. (near Arena Sferisterio) 17th Century Neapolitan
presepio, regional Italian and foreign Nativities, as well as another 4000 pieces of statues, animals, accessories, bibliographical and
philatelic materials, movies, slides, etc. Visit by appointment. (phone: +39 (0) 733-234035)

Milan Chiesa di / Church of San Marco, Capella del Presepe. Paper Nativity, c. 1750, by Francesco Londonio, glued onto wood panels. Open all year.

Montevergine (Campania region, near Avellino). Museo Internazionale del Presepio (International Crib Museum). Cloister, Benedettina Abbey. Nativities from around the world.

Morrovalle   (near Macerata)  Museo Pinacoteca Internazionale del Presepio.  In the exConvento dei Padri Agostiniani, next to the Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo.  Via Bonarelli 2.  Over 800 Nativities from around the world.  Open: daily Dec-Jan 8-1, 3-7; other times by request.  (www.museodelpresepio.Altervista.org)

Muggi   Chiesa de San Francesco, Salita delle Mura.  Calle San Francisco 12.  Permanent display of the Generale Consoli collection of Nativities from around the world.  Open:  Mon & Wed, 10-12.  Outside the schedule call +39 (0) 4 027 1104.   a

Museo Nazionale di San Martino  (St. Martin National Museum) on the grounds of the Certosa di San Martino in the Vómero district.
Presepio of Cuciniello and others, in Rooms 32-38.  Open daily,
8:30-7:30.  Closed Wednesdays.

Museo di Capodimonte.  Via Miano 2.  Among other exhibits, one Neapolitan Presepio in a cabinet approximately 5’x 5’.  Open daily
8:30-7:30; closed Wednesdays.

Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore, Chapel of San Domenico Soriano.  Life-size polychromed wood figures of Mary, Joseph, ox, donkey, from the 15th century.

Chiesa di Santa Chiara (Church of St. Clare), near Via San Gregorio Armeno.  17th Century theatrical crib with many figures.  Cloisters open daily 8-1, 4-7.

Church of Santa Maria in Portico.  Important crib with 24 large figures by Giuseppe Picano and Giacomo Colombo.  Of the original 1647 crib ordered by Duchess Orsini di Gravina there remain 4 shepherds, the Child, one Magi, ox and ass.

Via San Gregorio Armeno  -  presepio workshops and stores line both sides of this street

Oropa (Piedmont region). Museo del Presepio. In the crypt of the New Church of the Santuario, which is a place of pilgrimage (April to Sept)
to the 14th Century Black Madonna.

Reggio Calabria Museo del Presepio of the Associazione Amici del Presepe. Via Filippini 46. Open daily Nov-Feb, 9-12:30, 4:30-8; Mar-Oct,
9-12, 5-8; other times by appt (phone/fax: +39-965817021; www.museodelpresepiorc.com info@museodelpresepiorc.com)

Basilica del Santi Cosma e Damiano. Via dei Fori Imperiali 1. Presepio from 1750 – 45 ft. long, 21ft. wide, 27 ft. high (phone: +39
(0)6-6991540)** Museo Nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolare. Suburb of Eur, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. (Fermi Metro Station, Linea B). Two very large cases, each with a Neapolitan Presepio, with settings by Nicola Maciariella. Open daily 9-6.

**Museo Nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolare. Suburb of Eur, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. (Fermi Metro Station, Linea B).  Two very large cases, each with a Neapolitan Presepio, with settings by Nicola Maciariella.  Open daily 9-6.

**** Museo Tipologico Internazionale del Presepe – Associazione Italiana Amici del Presepio. Via Tor de Conti 31A, basement of church of SS.Quirico & Giullita.  Dioramas, some 2000 cribs from around the world.  Open: Sep-July, W, Sa, 5-8; Dec 24-Jan 15 daily 3-8;  (phone: +39 (0) 6 6796146 – www.presepio.it)

** Parrocchia di Santa Maria in Via.  Via del Mortaro 24.  In room to left of altar.  18th Century Neapolitan Nativity with 60 major pieces.  On permanent display. Open 7:15-12:45, 4-9 daily. Sun, holidays, closed for lunch. (phone: +39 (0) 6 6976741)

Presepio dei Netturbini (Sanitation Workers Crib).  Via dei Cavalleggeri 5.  Open daily Mon-Sat 9-7; Sun, holidays 8-11:30; mid-Dec to end Jan 8-8.  Entry fee

Catacombs – many have representations of different parts of the Nativity story on crypts or walls

San Vigilio di Concesio
(ne of Brescia)  Museo del Presepio “Paolo VI”.  Via Rizzardi 30/b.  Large mechanized traditional Presepio and 100 sets from around the world.  Open:  holidays 2-7 – rest of the year by appointment.  (phone/fax:+39 (0) 302751388  -  website for map:  www.presepiopaolosesto.it)


Caltagirone   Cripta del Convento dei PP. Cappuccini.  Via SS Salvatore 28. Permanent presepio – “Story of Salvation” from Annunciation to
Resurrection - with modern figures made by local artists as a testimony to the continuation of the presepio tradition in Caltagirone.




Caltagirone      Museo Internazionale dei Presepi, Largo S. Luigi 2. Nativities, local and from around the world.  Open Nov-May, 9:30-1:30, 3-9.  Holidays 9:30-9

Museo del Presepio.  Parrocchia di Santa Caterina da Siena.  Giant hillside scene.  Open year round 8-12, 3:30-7.


  Catania ****

Museo del Presepio.   Via Meli 2.  Exceptional Nativity dioramas made by members and sets from around the world.  Open:  Jan 7-Dec 7, Sa, Su, holidays, 5-7 p.m.  Dec 8-Jan 6, daily 4-7:30.  Closed July & Aug.  Open year round for groups and school children.  (+39 (0) 95 934265)



Museo del Presepio. Part of Museo Etnografico G. Pitré. Large 17th Century presepio by Giovanni Matera, others from 18th C.

Galleria Regionale di Palazzo Bellomo. Via Capodieci 16, next to Church of San Benedetto. A collection of cribs on the ground floor.
Open: daily, Sun & holidays 9-12:30. (phone: +39 (0) 931 69511 or 69617 fax: +39 (0) 931 69529)



Museo Regionale Conte Agostino Pepoli.   Via Conte Agostino Pepoli, 200 in the Santuario Madonna di Trapani.  Three rooms of cribs on the first floor.  Open: Mon-Sa,  9-1:30; Sun, holidays, 9-12:30.  Closed Mondays.

Taranto    Museo del Presepio.  Via Lago d’Averno 10  (crossroad, Bivio / Chieso (Church) S. Spirito).  Display of artistic Nativities from the Costa Collection.  Open year round by appointment.  (phone:  +39 (0)997 761799)

Trieste   Museo della Tradizione Presepistica Triestina.  (Museum of Trieste Nativity Tradition)  Via dei Giardini 16.  Open week-days year round 3-6, except for July and August; Dec-Jan, daily 3-6;  holidays 10-12, 3-6.

Wooden presepio monumentale (Monumental Nativity)  outside Trieste at Grotta Gigante / Borgo Grotta Gigante  (in cave). Open every day except non-holiday Mondays, 10:30-12:30, 2:30-4:30.   (phone: +39 (0  )40 311853)

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Monte Carlo Musée National des Poupées et Automates (Dolls and Automatons), Villa Garnier, 7 av. Princesse Grace. 18th Century Neapolitan crèche. (phone:+377 93 30 91 26)

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Bazylika Mariacka on Rynek Glowny / Main Square. On the inside face of the left wing of the Wit Stwosz altarpiece are three panels
depicting the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Visit of the Magi. The inside face of the right wing shows the Easter cycle.
** Muzeum Etnograficzne  (Polish Folk Museum), Old Town Hall, plac Wolnica, Kazimierz District. Collection of village Nativity scenes / szopka krakowska.  Open:  Tu-Wed, Fri-Sat 11-7; Thur 11-9; Sun 11-3.  Closed Mon.

Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa (The Historical Museum of the City of Krakow)  Rynek Glowny / Main Square.  Largest collection in the world of szopki, the traditional Krakow style of Nativity.  Latest word is that there are no cribs on permanent display, but if you are in Krakow, please stop by to check, then let us know. Every year on 1st Thursday of December the Museum sponsors a competition of new szopki.  People bring entries to the main square where they are displayed and judged before being taken to the Museum.  Open daily during the holiday season.  Closed year-round on Mon-Tu.    (www.mhk.pl  click flag at bottom left for English. www.krakow-info.com/szopki.htm) 

** Wambier- (small village about 100 km from Wroclaw – place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages)    800-piece mechanical Nativity, of which move.  Other scenes from life of Jesus and of daily life in Silesia. Built at end of 19th Century by local blacksmith and clockmaker,
Longinus Wittig.  Open: May-Sep, Tu-Sun, 9-6; Oct-Apr, 10- 3:45.
Closed Mondays.

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Azores: SanMiguel Island.Lagoa
Museu do Presépio Açoriano (Azorean Nativity Scene Museum) Rua General Bernardo do Canto, nº1 Santa Cruz.  Open:  Mon-Fri,
Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro.  Largo (Square) Dr. Jose Rodrigues. Nativity in Cabinet by the master.  Museum under renovation – partially open in 2011, but the Nativity is not yet
on display.   (phone: +351 (0) 239-482-001  –  email: mnnachadodecastro@imc-ip.pt)
Municipal Museum in the Upper Town has several display cases with 18th-19th Century crib sets and individual crib figures. Open Tu-Sa 10-
12:30, 2-5, Apr-Sept 3-7. Closed Mon.
Basílica da Estrela.  Praça da Estrela / Estrela Square.  18th Century figures attributed to J. Machado de Castro.  The still-large Nativity, now in a special cabinet, originally had over 500 pieces.  Open daily, 8-1, 3-8.

***Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (Museum of Ancient Art). Rua das Janelas Verdes 9. Crib of the Marquises of Belas, in the lower chapel. Large polychromed clay Crib in its original structure, sculpted by Joaquim António de Macedo and Joaquim José Barros; painting by António Pinto Portugal  (1796-1812).  Holy Family by Machado de Castro.  On the 1st floor are 3 cabinets of polychromed wood and clay crib figures attributed to the “Clerigo de Setubal”, 18th Century.  Open: Tues-Sun, 10-6; closed Mondays.   ( http://www.mnarteantiga-ipmuseus.pt ).
** Museu Nacional do Azulejo. Convento da Madre de Deus. (Museum of Tiles. Convent of the Mother of God).  Rua da Madre de Deus 4.  Large 16th Century decorative tile panel. Nossa Senhora da Vida (Our Lady of Life) shows the stable scene.  Large 18th century, painted terracotta crib by António Ferreira and others in Casa do Presepio (Nativity Room).  Open: Tu-Sun 10-6.  Closed Mondays.

** Sé Patriarchal. (Cathedral) Alfama District. Large 1766 terracotta Baroque Crib by Machado de Castro in the Bartolomeo Joanes Chapel
off the north aisle. (phone: 351-1-218-866-752)


Palacio Nacional de Queluz  (National Palace).  15 km from the Old Quarter.  Crib of painted terracotta, wood, cork, and paper, from third quarter of the 18th Century. Attributed to Silvestre Faria Lobo.  Open daily 10-1, 2-5.  Closed Tuesdays.

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Rajecká Lesná
(northern Slovakia, 30 km. South of Zilina) Slovenskeho Bethlehema  (Slovak Nativity).  (crèche is 27 ft. long x 9 ft. deep x 6.5 ft. high) Nativity scene carved by Jozef Pekara.  The 170 moving figures in Slovak national costumes and the background of historic towns tell not only the story of the birth of Jesus but the history and social activities of the Slovak nation as well. Open: Tu-Sat 9-11:30, 1-5:30; Su 9:30-10:30, 1-4; closed Monday    (www.muzeum.sk)

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Museo de Belenes, Calle de San Agustín 3, Casco Viejo.  Nativities from around the world.  Seasonal dioramas of Nativity story and Passion.  Open: M-F 9-2, 5-8; Sat 9-1. Closed Sundays.


Church of the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí. Stone carvings of the Nativity.

Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativos  (Museum of Decorative Arts), Calle Montalban 12.  18th Century Neapolitan Nativity on display.   Open:  Tues-Sat. 9:30-3; Sun, holidays, 10-3.  Closed Mondays.

Iglesia de la Sang (Church of the Blood), Calle Olmos 50.  “El belén de Jesús”.  Said to be the oldest in Spain, dating back to 1480.  The figures of Mary and Joseph are from the XV Century; those of the Shepherds, from 1530-1540, and that of Jesus, from the XVIII Century.

Museo de la Fundación Bartolomé March.  March Palace.  XVIII Neapolitan Nativity Scene of more than 2000 pieces gathered by
Bartolomé March.   Open: Daily M-F, 10-6:30; Sat, 10:30-2; closed Sundays, holidays.
Museo Salzillo, Plaza de San Agustín, 3, entrance on Doctor Quesada.  Display of 600-piece (people and animals) polychromed terracotta Nativity (except for the Babe, done in wood) carved by sculptor Francisco Salzillo (1707-1781).  Open: Summer M-Sat 10-2; closed Su – Winter M-Sa 10-5; Su, holidays 11-2., closed Mondays. 

Monasterio Santa Paula, Calle de Santa Paula, 11  (cloistered order of nuns). On display is a charming 18th century Nativity, whose figures show several anecdotal scenes from the life of the Virgin.  Some carry the signature of Fernando de Santiago.  Open Tu-Su, 10-1; closed Mondays

Museo Nacional Colegio de San Gregorio (formerly Museo Nacional de Escultura)  Cadenas de San Gregorio 1, 2, 3.  Neapolitan Nativity Scene comprised of 620 items collected over many years by the Garcia de Castro family and acquired by the Spanish state in 1996.  184 human figures + animals and accessories.  Open: Tu-Sa 10-2, 4-7:30; Sun, 10-2; closed Mon.

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Puppenhaus Museum (Doll Museum).  Steinenvorstadt 1.  The Museum contains a Neapolitan Presepio with several hundred figures, the tallest of which are 16”.  The background scenery is made of cork. Open daily 10-6.   (www.puppenhausmuseum.ch)


(40 km se Zurich)   Diorama Bethlehem – “the largest crib in the world”  Benzigerstrasse 23.  Over 450 figures carved by Ferdinand
Pottmesser of South Tyrol in the 1930s, in a permanent building. Open: May 1-Oct 31, 12-5; First Advent-Jan 6, 12-4.  Groups by appointment.   (www.diorama.ch/english -  info@diorama.ch)

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