Algarve big on nativity scenes.jpg

Algarve big on nativity scenes

Vila Real de Santo António

AN ENORMOUS nativity scene, measuring 70sqm and containing 2,000 figures, is currently on display in Vila Real de Santo António. Created by artist Ernesto Pires, 59, from Castro Marim, the nativity scene took a total of 23 days to complete, 150 tons of stones, six tons of sand, 60sqm of moss, 80 planks of wood and 1,500 wooden screws were used in the making of this giant model.

Ernesto Pires has created large nativity scenes in previous years, but this is his largest effort so far. The gigantic nativity scene can be viewed daily until King’s Day (January 6) at the Centro Cultural António Aleixo, between 10am and 1pm and between 3pm and 7pm.


THE VILLAGE of Cortelha, in the parish of Salir (Loulé), has been selected to take part in the third Nativity Scenes Festival of Algarve Villages. The village’s nativity scene (below), predominantly made out of cork and occupying an area of around 70sqm in Largo da Associação, has been given a special regional twist – the gifts presented to the Baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men include typical local produce, such as honey, arguardente de medronho (‘fire water’), carobs and almonds. The Associação dos Amigos de Cortelha was responsible for making the nativity scene, which will be on display to the public until January 6.