It is a labour of love by council staff in Sabugal: Portugal’s largest natural nativity scene, involving tree branches, moss, sand, ivy and a huge amount of time and imagination, opens this week (at 3pm on Friday) until January 7, recreating the holy city of Bethlehem. Council workers in the central Portuguese town have been putting on this spectacle for the last 12 years. This year’s scene involves a time tunnel that takes visitors back to the year zero. “The journey continues through the desert, where there is the hut of the Magi, the walled part of the city, the king’s house and the representation of various professions. There’s a watercourse, a bridge, several fishermen and a pasture with animals”, say reports.