Belenes en Retiro

La Montaña de los Gatos del Retiro

No. 30 Paseo de Fernán Núñez. El Retiro Park

From 1 December to 8 January, from 11am to 1pm and from 6 to 8pm

Free admission 

Come to Bethlehem (A Belén, venid)

One of the surprises in this year’s Christmas programme from the Madrid City Council awaits us at the Cats’ Mountain, the historic jewel of the Retiro Park which has just been reopened after being closed for the last 20 years. The vaulted interior of this artificial mountain is the setting for the exhibition Come to Bethlehem, which features a large circular nativity scene and an exhibition of nativity scenes from all over the world.

The circular nativity scene occupies an area of almost 30 m2 in the centre of the Cat Mountain. Both the scenery and the figures come from the workshop of José Luis Mayo Lebrija, one of Spain’s most prestigious nativity scene designers. The figures - taken from his own collection - range in height between 7 and 35 centimetres to add a sense of perspective to the different points of the installation. As is always the case with Mayo's nativity scenes, the one to be installed in this emblematic spot in the Retiro is characterised by the realism of the anatomy, faces and clothing of his figures, as well as the naturalness and balance of the polychromy and modelling, all the result of an exhaustive documentary process that reflects the reality of the 1st century.

In addition to the portal, the nativity scene includes a reproduction of the village of Bethlehem, the marketplace and Herod’s castle, as well as a number of other constructions. A water circuit and a 500-litre water tank have been installed to supply the river that flows through the scene. The plant motifs are handmade and dry natural elements have also been installed. To add more depth to the nativity scene, different types of sand and earth have been used to create the paths.

Museo de Artes decorativas

No. 12 Calle de Montalbán,. 3rd floor

From 14 December to 14 January

Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:30am to 3pm.

Sundays and public holidays, from 10am to 3pm.

Thursdays, 22, 26, 27 and 29 December, from 5pm to 8pm.

Closed on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 and 6 January

Christmas comes around every year and all of us at the National Museum of Decorative Arts would like to take this opportunity to invite you to enjoy some of the most significant pieces from our collection of nativity scenes. You will be able to see some from the Americas, such as a 19th-century Mexican nativity scene in which the indigenous features of the figures reflect the spirit of protest that was brewing in the American colonies, or a late 17th-century nativity scene from Quito, which follows the classical model of the Holy Family with the mule and the ox, imported from Spain. We also have Italian nativity scenes, such as our famous Neapolitan crèche or Luca Giordano's “Adoration of the Shepherds”, and even some from our own peninsula, including a Portuguese nativity scene from Estremoz, made in ceramics around the middle of the 20th century, which stands out for its popular style and its intense colours, and a Spanish nativity scene attributed to Pedro Duque Cornejo, made of wood except for the Baby Jesus, which is made of alabaster and probably belonged to another set.


Sala de exposiciones Maruja Mallo

No. 2Plaza Daoiz y Velarde

From December 13 to January 5, from 9am. to 7:30pm.

Nativity scene exhibition


Plaza Daoiz y Velarde

Belen Viviente

Company: Ferro

December 22 and January 4, showings at 5, 6 and 7pm.

Accessibility type

Download the poster

The Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Madrid City Council facilitates the download of the official poster of the Madrid Christmas Programme 2023 campaign created by Polinho Trapalleiro.

Authorized download for home use only. Any other use subject to authorization. © MADRID DESTINO CULTURA TURISMO Y NEGOCIO, S.A., 2023