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The mining nativity scene

The miner's crib was a joint project between various artists from Annaberg-Buchholz that has existed since 2000. The magnificent crib tells the story of Annaberg's Christmas. Here you can find out everything about this extraordinary project.

History of the miners' crib

The history of the miners' nativity scene began in 2000 when local artists joined forces to create the world's largest nativity scene in a project unique to date. Despite attracting many skeptics to the scene, it was possible to collect tens of thousands of euros in donations and finish the crib in time for the 2015 Advent season. The city of Annaberg-Buchholz is in charge of the project. However, the funding comes exclusively from sponsors of companies and institutions, as well as committed donors from the community.

What do visitors to the crib expect?

Nachtwächter der Bergmännischen KrippeNight watchman (Foto: Dirk Rückschloss)

Those interested can admire the crib in the special miners' church "St. Marien" directly on the market square in Annaberg. The crib consists of 32 carved statues, each 1.2 meters high. In addition to the size of the nativity scene, the characteristics of the artwork are particularly fascinating. Nativity set the Annaberg crib is the crib of the miners. The Holy Family and all the characters of the crib are part of a mining scene from the 19th century. The figures tell the "The story of Christmas night in Annaberg", in which the viewer sees the life and work of the miners, citizens and craftsmen of the mining town.

Mine and Christian faith form a symbiosis in Annaberg. It does not seem unusual not to see the three wise men of the East, but the three officials of the Ore Mountains, who bring the gifts to the child Jesus. Two disabled miners bear witness to the hard life in the mining industry; Joseph also appears as a mountain carpenter. The citizens and craftsmen of Annaberg are not missing in this representation: shoemakers, bakers, night watchmen and even beggars appear. The woodcutter and lacemaker, both representatives of professional groups typical of the Ore Mountains, represent a further link with the region.

Who is behind the crib?

Nachtwächter der Bergmännischen KrippeNight watchman(Foto: Dirk Rückschloss)

Six artists from the exponArt group collaborated on the miners' crib project. In addition to the spiritual father of the nativity scene, the wood sculptor Dietmar Lang, Ronny Tschierske, Jesko Lange, Robby Schubert and Friedhelm Schelter did an excellent job in the artistic execution. The painter Günter Kreher has colored the nativity figures and made them seem so real.

What is the next one?

Although the crib project has been completed, and continues to be visited even after fifteen years, amateurs can always hope to add more characters. The project should continue to grow and be completed every year with a new statue showing "The Annaberger Nativity Path" at a prominent spot in the village, leading to the mountain church. This year residents and visitors of the town can see the figure of the "doctor" at the entrance to the "Dream Factory". City spokesman Matthias Förster announced that the wood sculptors have already collected 45 ideas for further characters that they would like to realize in the coming years.

Opening hours and information

The mountain church of St. Marien in Annaberg-Buchholz is open to visitors every day from 11:00 to 17:00. Every year on St. Stephen's Day, at 16:00, there is a function where new figures are introduced. Any changes to the opening hours will be announced on www.annenkirche.de.

You can find more information about the miners' crib here.

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