EN Nativity Scene

The folk Nativity scene is usually exhibited in the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul only at Christmas time from 24 December to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple (popularly known as Candlemass) on 2 February. The scene is made up of 14 figures, including a life-size Holy Family and several animal figures. The figures of the Holy Family, the three kings, the angels, the donors, and the animals (ox, donkey, sheep) are carved from wood, polychromed in a realistic post-Nazarene style and dated to the late 19th century. More than a century later, it was discovered that the Nativity scene was made by the “Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875” company from St Ulrich in Gröden (South Tyrol, Italy). The company still keeps a photograph of the original Vyšehrad Nativity scene, which used to be displayed in the room underneath the north tower.

A few years ago, a stylized wooden shepherd’s hut with a shingled roof was added to the Nativity scene. Above the scene hovers an angel holding a ribbon with the inscription “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Glory to God in the highest). The nativity figures were restored by Karel Stádník Jr. in the 1990s.

In 2019, an elephant was added to the Nativity scene, a gift from the Provost of Vyšehrad Mons. Aleš Opatrný and parishioners. The figure of the elephant is made of lightweight plastic by sculptor Miroslav Beščec.