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Hungary’s Most Beautiful Nativity Scene Built in Style of Famous Architect Makovecz

Fanni Kaszás 2020.12.25.

This year, the most beautiful nativity scene of the country was selected for the second time. The winner was also the largest nativity scene in Makó, exhibited in front of the Hagymatikum. The competition was jointly organized by the Hungarian Tourism Agency and Hungarofest Nonprofit Kft. 

On the first Sunday of Advent, the Makó nativity scene was erected in Makovecz Square, in front of the Hagymatikum. Designed by local art teacher Anikó Bertus-Barcza, it also won the title of the most beautiful nativity scene in the country and a prize of 10 million forints. Éva Erzsébet Farkas and Anikó Bartus-Bercza presented the crib to the visitors, which was built in the “style of the famous Hungarian architect Imre Makovecz.”

photo: Tibor Rosta/MTI

The creator said she saw the call for the competition last December, according to which applicants were expected to have a nativity scene depicting local motifs. She shaped her ideas into plans in about 2-3 weeks.

The floor plan of the building forms an octagon, is four times four meters in size, and has a maximum height of 3 and a half meters: the top of the main entrance, adorned with a star of Bethlehem, is the highest point of the scene.

photo: Tibor Rosta/MTI

The artistically beautiful figures of the traditional scene in Bethlehem depict the moment of Jesus’ birth in front of a cave, under a starry sky. All this was compiled by the Hungarofest team in two weeks, under the professional guidance of Anikó Bertus-Barcza. The art teacher said:

Makó is my heart, I’m glad that this work of mine can bring a little joy to the city in these extremely difficult times.”

A similar tradition, the nativity play, is a custom that is still alive today as well, but it is slowly being superseded by the customs relating to St. Nicholas. The nativity play is a traditional Christmas play in which the story of the birth of Jesus is presented.

Advent Period Begins: The Most Beautiful Hungarian Christmas Traditions
Advent Period Begins: The Most Beautiful Hungarian Christmas Traditions

There used to be numerous folk customs in Hungary during Advent, the preparation period preceding the Christmas holidays, some of which have even survived to this day. These traditions were mostly common in the rural areas. We have collected a few of these traditions to better know how the four-week preparation period was and is […]Continue reading

The performers go from house to house dressed as shepherds with a homemade nativity scene or a small Bethlehem church. They evoke the events of the birth of Jesus with sacred chants and playful dialogues.

featured photo: Tibor Rosta/MTI