Slovak nativity scene

betlehem A unique work of art from the craftsman Jozefa Pekara, a local from Rajecké Teplice. The actual piece stands 8.5 m long and 3 m high and is one the largest carved nativity scenes in Europe. He has beautifully carved the whole of Slovakia from linden wood and depicts the life, culture, crafts and ways of life of the Slovak nation. All the characters can move, they work or have fun. Every Slovak who comes here to look can find something from their area showing its history and traditions. The work depicts the jobs and crafts that at one time or another were done by Slovaks, it shows their local costumes, customs and ways of life.

The Slovak Nativity Scene is a text book of history and geography, it reflects the wisdom and craftsmanship of the traditions of wood-carving in Rajec. It breathes optimism, the delight from work and from life, everyday and festive days of ordinary people.

The whole work of art is 8.5 m long, 2.5 m wide and 3 m high. There are roughly 300 figures half of which move.
The person who first came up with the idea of creating a Slovak Nativity Scene as a permanent part of the pilgrimage town Rajecká Lesná was the priest Vojtech Valent who was supported in this by the former parish custodian Alexander Klabnik. The realisation and setting up of the building and installing the Slovak Nativity Scene there is the work of the present day parish custodian Pavol Šadlák.

The public opening ceremony of this remarkable work of art took place on 26 November 1995 when the first part showing the central Slovak region was made accessible to the public. The section showing the west Slovak region was added in November 1996 and the following year saw the addition of the east Slovak region which finished the whole work.
Part of the building housing the Slovak Nativity Scene is a gallery on the first floor where carved wooden works of art from well-known Rajec carvers such as Brieštenský, Veselý and Bača are on display.

Opening times:
daily from 09:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m. (closed for lunch 12:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m.)
Tel.: +421 /0/ 41 5488 134

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