Before Catholic families had Christmas trees, the nativity scene with the manger was the centrepiece of the Christmas celebrations. In Austria, the building of nativity scenes goes back a long way. One of the most famous “crib builders” was an Austrian. Alexander Schäffer’s works of art were a hot commodity the world over – from Germany to Canada. Schäffer even had the honour of building a nativity scene for the Summer Olympics in Mexico City in 1968, as a representative showpiece for Austria.
The Nativity trail in the Rathauspark has been paying tribute to this lovely tradition since 2018. This year, the nativity figures play the leading role, artfully and creatively set on display by the Viennese Nativity Association in a whole range of different cribs. The association has existed since 2001. The nativity scenes are built by the members of the association or as part of regular courses under the guidance of master crib builders. Want to become part of a nativity scene? Even this is possible – in the life-sized, walkable nativity scene that is the culmination of the Nativity trail.