Oh come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
Oh come ye, Oh come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of Angels:
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.
Yesterday I went to see the Christmas nativity scene (known as a Belén) at the council offices in Torre del Mar. When I first arrived, I could hear the excited chatter of school children as I approached the Tenencia de Alcaldía offices, opposite to the National Police Station on Calle Andalucía.
Just through the entrance door of the council chambers is an exhibition room, where the nativity scene can be found. The children were just finishing their visit and were all excited to be receiving some sweets as they left the building – which gave me a perfect opportunity to have a look around, before the next group of children arrived.
As I entered the exhibition room, the first thing I noticed was that the walls were covered with children’s drawings, showing their perceptions of Torre del Mar. As you can see, the lighthouse features in many of the pictures.
The creator of the nativity scene, Antonio Fortes Calderón, was on hand to explain that the display covers thirty square metres and consists of 60 individual pieces – many of which were made of papier-mâché.
Antonio was keen to show me around the delightful Belén, pointing out various areas of the display which were representative of the area in general, but also very specific pieces that were instantly recognisable to me as parts the town.
I absolutely LOVE the revolving light on the lighthouse!
Here’s the very distinctive blue-and-white lighthouse and the beach, complete with the running track (Sendero Litoral), together with a model of the old church of Torre del Mar (now replaced with a more modern church).
Two of the (three) old chimneys of the Azucarera (sugar mill) are depicted, along with the old railway station (now the bus station).
And this photo shows the bandstand and the old lighthouse, which is now hidden amongst the buildings, just off the promenade.
Torre del Mar means Tower of the Sea, but that particular tower, after which the town is named, is no longer standing. Antonio has included a model to show how it would have looked, back in the day.
If you’ve a spare half an hour, pop along and have a look at all the pictures the children have drawn, and as you walk around this magnificent Nativity scene, see how many buildings from the town you can spot.
You never know, you might bump into Antonio whilst you’re there!
Do YOU like to visit a nativity scene, to get you in the mood for Christmas?
Hey Marianne, Looks like you had a blessed Christmas day. I absolutely love the photos of the nativity scene
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This is a different and very elaborate nativity scene I am used to! Nevertheless beautiful! Have a merry Christmats:)
Yes, I love the fact that it is so different. Merry Christmas to you, too 🙂
So beautiful, Marianne, and what a labour of love. 🙂 There’s a very nice nativity at Vila Real de S. Antonio on the border with Spain that I’ve featured before. Nothing quite like going to your own children’s school one though, is there? Many years ago! 🙂 Hope Christmas is kind to you this year.
Hi Jo! Yes, Antonio’s dedication to his nativity scene shone through.
Thanks for your good wishes, and all the VERY best to you this festive season, too xx
What a beautiful post, Marianne. Such a fun place to visit. Happy holidays. You’ve put me in the mood.:)
What a wonderful nativity scene, Marianne, and it really captures the essence of the south of Spain. Thanks for sharing. Our family has a tradition of visiting Washington National Cathedral each Christmas Eve, where there is a display of nativity scenes from all over the world. I look forward to it this year. 🙂
Beautiful! I do love the Belenes in Spain. Our local churches have the most amazing ones (if you get a chance to go to Alfarnate, theirs is usually pretty amazing!). After all, no matter what you believe, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ and I love that this is simply what these nativity scenes represent.
how lovely. I’ve not been to a nativity for years.
Many are similar to each other (and there are LOTS here), but this one is so special because of the local element to the scene. Very special 🙂
You do such beautiful work on your blog. I love seeing every single post – I am not able to live in Spain full time yet, but your pictures give me the the feeling of being there for a brief moment. Your blog is inspiring, thank you!
A visit worthwhile !
This is beautiful and it reminds me of my childhood, when my Mum used to take us every year to a life size Nativity exhibition in one of the churches in the old quarters in La Coruña. It was always magical and one of my favourite memories of Christmas growing up. 😁
Thank you Marianne for bringing this to our attention We are on our way? Antonio has created a unique Nativity!
How wonderful. They create a wonderful Belan here in Torrevieja as well. I was so taken with it last year and plan to see it again this year.
I’ve never seen such a grand display and I love how the Nativity is set into the local townscape. What a clever man!
He was SO passionate about it too, Gilly. It must have taken him since last Christmas to make it. What a lot of work!