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Belen in Centro-Centro, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid

by Rose Maramba


Think about it, the Savior has come down from his perch in Heaven for his annual date with “Sinners” on Earth. A gesture of Love and Generosity. Just what the Christians and the non-Christians need in these times of affliction, of the unremitting spread of The Curse of biblical proportions, a.k.a. the coronavirus.

There’s solace in contemplating the lovely lifelike Scenes of Nativity, reminders that when things get much too tough you can count on a Savior.

There’s probably a deeper meaning to be gleaned from the belenes in Spain, this being a country that was founded on the Catholic faith.

On the other hand, they’re a universal scene, a universal message of an all-embracing love. The message of the Jolly Season!

Even when things are well and truly bleak, there’s always that silver lining; it is, after all, the Season to be Jolly.


Where to find the belenes
You don’t have to look hard. They’re ubiquitous. In plazas. Museums. Shops. A church that has no Nativity Scene, no matter how unpretentious, is a renegade! In Madrid — outside of the churches —  you’ll find the belenes in places like the 
• Real Casa de Correos, Puerta del Sol, open until 6 January. (This belen is spectacular.)
• CentroCentro, Plaza de Cibeles, open until 5 January  
• Plaza de la Villa, 1, open until 5 January 
• Museo de San Isidro, Plaza de San Andres, 2, till 17 January  
• Museo de Historia, Calle Fuencarral, 78, till 31 January. (Here, the belen is an 18th-century work of art.) 
• Centro Cultural Galileo, Calle Galileo, 39, till 6 January 
• Centro Cultural Casa del Reloj, Po. de la Chopera, 6, till 17 January 
• Centro Cultural Lope de Vega, Calle Concejo de Taverga, 1, Puente de Vallecas, till 17 January
• Sala Juana Frances, Calle Bravo Murillo, 357, till 6 January


Diario de Madrid, Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Comunidad de Madrid



The belen of the Madrid Region, Real Casa de Correos

Eighteenth-century Neapolitan belen, Calle Fuencarral, 78, Madrid

Belen in Puente de Vallecas, Madrid

At the Plaza de la Villa, Madrid

Belen at the CentroCentro, Madrid