Creches from Around the World


You will find on this page a growing number of Crèche sets, all of them presented to the public in and around Dayton since 1998. They represent a fraction of the Marian Library’s Crèches Collection.

Our trademark is to create a special setting for each of the sets highlighting their special cultural, symbolic and aesthetic values. Michel Forest, a Canadian artist of creative and exquisite taste, is our master decorator. It is our goal to make these nativities objects of meditation. Thus, each one of the sets presented here comes with a description. These descriptions vary according to country, artist, aesthetic and cultural expressions. For all of them we try to emphasize the appropriate religious message hoping it will lead the visitor to pondering and meditating the mystery of the Incarnation.

The artifacts presented here convey a variety of interpretations of the Christmas event. Some of the sets are little monuments to artistic creativity and thus a simple statement of beauty. Others will take the visitor to faraway countries and their genius of telling the story of the Incarnation. Most of the scenes speak about human life as much as they speak of religion and God. There are allusions to life’s ordinariness and mystery, and attempts to deal visually with suffering and injustice. Sometimes the story crests in a symbol pregnant with meaning, at other times the tale ends with a question mark. In all of these nativity sets the challenge of the Incarnation remains intact.

Find enlargeable photos in gallery here.

This is an interesting and beautiful collection.


What a wonderful Christmas gift to the forum, “Beautiful”. Thank you for sharing it.

God bless and Merry Christmas!

MV :snowing:




These world Creches are so interesting to view.
My bro. brought me one today that comes with many pieces and is so large ( 10 " figures ) - I can’t believe it. It is beautiful to look at lit up in the dark. Even though I have a thing for nativity sets I’m passing it on to my daughter who will be married soon. No my bro. doesn’t mind.


Wonderful! I also have a very special Nativity Scene. The figures are very old, chalkware. The stable itself, was lovingly built and painted by my late father. It is a treasure which has been a part of Christmas… since I can remember. I think he had built it for my mother, long before I was born!

I also have several Christmas tree Nativity Scenes (they hang on the Christmas tree). One I especially like… is a tiny one, from Mexico. It is painted with the most beautiful, vivid colors. Tiny, but gorgeous!


Most Christians have special Nativity Scene they put out year after year. I do but I have heard and witnessed how life has a way of changing that so they must change to a different set. Think of how many people move from a large family home to a smaller dwelling when they get old. Folks in nursing homes and adult homes no longer are able to or have room to keep their set.
My local nursing home activity director made sure that all Christian residents had a small one piece Nativity in their rooms during the Christmas season. How beautiful is that? This is a good day (day after Christmas Sales) to buy affordable nativity sets for ‘friends’ in adult homes or nursing homes.


Yes, you’re right. I have no children of my own… so, I intend to pass the handmade Nativity stable and the figures… on to my nephew or niece. So it can be kept in the family.

I think that’s wonderful, about the Christian home you mentioned… making sure all the residents had a Nativity in their rooms. We visited two retirement homes this Christmas. I don’t recall seeing a Nativity in the lobby of one of them. But there was a lovely Nativity in the lobby of the other. So thoughtful and important… for the staff to remember how important this is… especially, as people get along in years.

God bless and Happy New Year :snowing:


Maybe a call to the activity director will help get nativities in each of the Christian resident rooms. The activity director of my local nursing home keeps a list of all those that want to be called for Christian activities.

The type of nativity I saw in my nursing home was small and one piece - similar to what one might find in a Dollar Store.

Contact your parish education director to see if students/children can draw/color nativity scenes for nursing home or adult home residents.

God bless and Happy New Year!


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