«Biggest nativity scene in the country» is back in Vila Real de Santo António

Nativity scene can be visited from this Wednesday, December 1st

The largest crib in the country will return to Vila Real de Santo António (VRSA), as of this Wednesday, December 1st, and promises to «surprise again for the numbers and quantity of materials used, reaching the mark of 5 pieces », which can be visited at Centro Cultural António Aleixo, until 600 January.

To give life to this initiative, which completes its 19th edition this year, "it took more than 40 days and 2 hours of work, although preparations have already started several months ago", says the municipality of VRSA.

The list of materials used in its construction includes more than 20 tons of sand, four tons of stone dust, three thousand kilograms of cork and hundreds of ornaments.

The Gigante Crib once again reaches the goal of «230 square meters, occupying the entire exhibition area of ​​the António Aleixo Cultural Center, with thousands of figures, many made from scratch by their authors and others that can reach several hundred euros », explains the municipality.

The entire construction of this crib has the signature of Augusto Rosa and Teresa Marques, two municipal officials who had the collaboration of Joaquim Soares and António Bartolomeu.



In 2021, the structure of the crib again has elements evocative of the region, namely the Praça Marquês de Pombal, the old huts on the beach of Monte Gordo, the salt pans, the traditional Algarvian waterwheels, as well as other local monuments.

The more than 80 animated and motorized pieces, the lakes and the lighting constitute “the secret” and are, at the same time, some of the most attractive points. All of this is based on a complex support base where the several kilometers of cables are installed that allow this work of art to come to life and guarantee, for example, the circulation of water, the lighting of houses and the scenic effects.

These details are added to the reconstitution of many Christian and pagan episodes associated with the Christmas season – evident in the nativity scene – factors that "set it apart from all others in the country and are one of the reasons for its success", emphasizes the municipality.

The ecological aspect «has not been forgotten either», since most of the materials are natural or have been reused, with emphasis on cork and moss. On the other hand, led lighting systems were implemented.

The Gigante Presépio can be visited every day at the António Aleixo Cultural Center, from 10:00 am to 13:00 pm and from 14:30 pm to 19:00 pm. Admission is 1 euro (0,50 € for children under ten).