Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Route of 30 nativity scenes in La Orotava 2021 with both in person and virtual tours

Ruta de los Belenes 2021

The Asociación Belenista Taoro (Taoro Nativity Scene Association) in La Orotava offers a route with 30 nativity scenes, distributed throughout the municipality, some of which can be visited in guided tours and all of which can be visited virtually this year.

The nativity scene route in La Orotava, which this year celebrates its fourteenth edition, has become one of the most popular activities on these dates with both visitors and residents. The route is already a benchmark in the Canary Islands and makes the Villa a must-see point to enjoy and admire the beauty of these authentic and elaborate works of art.

The realization of nativity scenes is a tradition of yesteryear, but in La Orotava this cultural and religious heritage has been recovered admirably by the Taoro Nativity Scene Association creating this annual route, which this year offers a visit to 30 nativity scenes, behind which there is a meticulous handicraft work worthy of admiration, the result of hundreds of hours of work, which is compensated only by seeing the excited faces of the visitors. 

Due to the current health situation, visits to the nativity scenes participating in the route will be carried out with capacity control and following health protocols and regulations. So, for lovers of this tradition, in this edition the face-to-face visit is combined with a virtual one. 

The virtual route is comprised of three videos that will be published at three intervals, at the beginning of December, half way through the month and just before Christmas Eve, to be published on the association's Facebook page. The first of the three videos, which starts with the life-sized municipal display, can be seen here and contains coverage of the first few of these delightful 'Holy Model Villages' with their plethora of endearing and adorable details - such as kittens under the manger; birds in nests on rooftops, moving parts and real water, and an accurate scale model of the façade of La Orotava's Iglesia de la Concepción.

This year, as a novelty, guided tours in the evening are being offered outside the usual hours, which will be on December 18, 23 and 29 and January 4. They are organized by the staff of the Museo Sacro (Sacred Museum) of the La Concepción parish and the money from the collection will go to those affected by the La Palma volcano.

This year, the association donated a nativity scene to the Church of San Francisco, where an image of the patron of nativity scenes, San Francisco de Asís (Saint Francis of Assisi), is located, and at the same time, is the headquarters of the group. The donated sculptural set is the work of the young sculptor and nativity scene artist Alejandro Hernández Pérez, and it is also the representative image in this edition, both in the brochures and on the posters.

You can download a PDF with details of all the nativity scenes included in this year's route, along with maps, at the following page Ruta de los Belenes 2021.