The Christmas crib
published on 16/12/2015 in 2015

Of November 30, 2015 to February 2, 2016

from 30 November 2015 to 2 February 2016

Like every year, the nursery of the Cathedral is presented from the first Sunday of advent to the feast of the presentation at the temple. They are nearly two million pilgrims, faithful and visitors who will come to gather there during these two months.

Since last year, the Cathedral has been proposing to discover a Nativity scene from a foreign country. After Sicily and the Czech Republic, it is Poland's turn to be honored with this carved wooden crib. It will be blessed by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, on the first Sunday of Advent.


"I am the light of the world."
John 8, 12





The tradition of the nursery
Saint Francis of Assisi († 1226) was attributed to the creation of the first Nativity scene: This use spread rapidly to become, as nowadays, universal.
A Nativity scene presents the characters of the Nativity, such as the gospel narrative makes them known: the Child-Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the Angels, who sing the glory of the Redeemer and the peace given To men of goodwill, shepherds. The Ox and donkey belong to the tradition: their place appeared natural in a barn.
A few days after Christmas, during the Epiphany, the three Magi are added with the star guiding them: they represent the homage of kindness and his quest for salvation. Some cribs are simply the characters of the Nativity or include them in larger scenes that implement all the human categories as do the health.
For the believer, these figurative stagings are an incentive to make the feelings of the actors of the first moments of redemption his own, and to enter it for his part, through prayer.


I hope that the crèche, as important, not only of our faith, but also of Christian culture and art, continues to be part of this great solemnity: In the end, it is a simple and eloquent way of remembering Jesus who, by making himself a man , "came to live among us," and, with the manger, actually lives with us.
Benedict XVI
December 17, 2008


In the North ambulatory, the Closing of the choir Carried out in the 14th century represents The episodes of Christ's life related to the liturgical period of Christmas time :
-Nativity of Jesus and announcement to the Shepherds
-Adoration of the Magi
-Massacre of the Innocent
-Escape to Egypt
-Presentation at the Temple

It is close to this incomparable altarpiece that naturally takes place in the crèche of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Import-565. jpg


The crèche of Krakow (Poland) in Notre-Dame

This impressive crèche, typical of Krakow, houses the Nativity in a décor composed of elements borrowed from the main monuments of the former Polish capital.
Parts of secular buildings, such as the BARBACANE fortress or the linen Hall – which was rebuilt in the Renaissance – are alongside representations of the twenty-one churches in the city.
Ten stained glass Windows represent Saints buried in Krakow and paintings are devoted to scenes of history and characters from local legends.
The Nativity, with shepherds and wise men, occupies the Centre of the composition and testifies to the fervor of the inhabitants of Krakow.
The tradition of making this style of very colorful crèches, to the infinite taste of detail, goes back several centuries and the current style, which requires symmetry, brilliance and richness of ornamentation, dates from the nineteenth century.
Since 1937, the city of Krakow has been organising a contest of the most beautiful Christmas Nativity scene. The one that is currently exhibited at the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral is the work of the Markowski family, winner in 2010. With 5.01 m in height, it is the tallest crib ever created in the context of this competition and its realization required no less than 10 000 hours of work.


import-2397. jpg


Put your message of peace at the foot of the crib of Notre-Dame de Paris

At the foot of the nursery of the cathedral is arranged a large transparent urn. Pilgrims, visitors, believers or not, all men of goodwill from the four corners of the world and passing to Notre Dame in this Christmas time are invited to register a Message of Peace And put it in that urn. This one will fill up throughout this Christmas time with more than 400 000 Peace Messages enrolled in all languages. These messages are all intentions of prayer and peace Which are prayed every night during the last mass to the cathedral.

You can also, Internet users, file an online Message of Peace At the foot of the crib of Notre-Dame de Paris. To do this, type it in the box below. It will be associated with the messages left by pilgrims and visitors and prayed tonight during the last mass of the cathedral.

Import-835. jpg


Light a candle at Notre-Dame