The chapel of the Episcopal Palace of Segovia hosts from the 1 of December, and until the 6 of January, an Egyptian Monumental Bethlehem that occupies an area of about 45 square meters, in which palaces and temples are recognizable and a large desert area since it is inspired by the Gospel chapter 'The flight to Egypt'.
The director of Sacred Art of ArtiSplendore Spain, Francisco Gabarrón, explains to Ical that in the design, concept and execution of this project the collaboration of the pastoral and belenista vicar, Francisco Jimeno, has been fundamental. The Diocese of Segovia and ArtiSplendore, which manages the sacred art museum 'Splendor Fidei', propose a reflection on the meaning of this evangelical episode, the flight of Joseph and Mary, with newborn Jesus to Egypt to prevent his son from dying to the hands of King Herod, as happened "with many innocent saints", many children born in Bethlehem.
The Holy Family, a humble Nazarene family, was also a migrant, had to leave his home and belongings to be safe. Migration and all that entails, the hard and difficult reality of many families in the world in the 21st century is the starting point of this monumental nativity scene, hence the great extent that the desert occupies.
The pieces of this Birth are the work of the Valladolid company Javier, with some figures of the School of Olot (Girona), of the first years of the twentieth century and others more modern, already from the decades of the 40 and the 50. In the Bethlehem, different Egyptian monuments with temples, palaces and pyramids were recreated. "There is a mountain, in the Valley of the Dead and a lake, with the ship of life," he details, "in addition to the popular scenes of the Annunciation, the Mystery or the appearance of the angel to the shepherds who care for their flocks "
A different Monumental Bethlehem with great prominence for the theme of the desert, in which various materials have been used. The oldest figures are made of wood pulp, and for the most modern, a current version of wood pulp has been used. "The polyurethane for everything that is the construction of the palaces and the relief of the mountains," adds Gabarrón, "the polyspán is used to make the bases of the columns and a screen printing decoration for the scenes of the different palaces" .
The director of Sacred Art of ArtiSplendore remarks that the nativity scene does not have interior lighting but that what is illuminated is the chapel of the Episcopal Palace because “being in the desert, it would always be daytime and also symbolize the Birth of Jesus”.
Inside the same chapel, visitors who come to see the Egyptian Bethlehem, can admire two Baroque paintings. The first work depicts the scenes of the birth of the Virgin Mary, her presentation, the visit to her cousin Santa Isabel and the circumcision of the Infant Jesus, while in the second, located at the exit, another great painting with the theme of 'The Flight into Egypt.'
The birth will be available to Segovians and visitors until Kings Day, from 11.00 to 14.00 hours, and from 17.00 to 21.00 hours, except on Sundays that the closing is advanced at 18.00 hours. In addition, the December 25 and January 1 will open its doors, while the 24 and December 31 will only be available in the morning.
From the cultural management company ArtiSplendore and the Bishopric, they have turned to Segovia and the Segovians, Gabarrón says, "in the recovery of everything related to Christmas from a Christian point of view." The Episcopal Palace also has, thanks to the economic sponsorship of the Restaurant 'El Batihoja', with special lighting thanks to more than 45.000 bulbs, including the facade has been dressed to welcome Christmas and, inside, a big pine.