Christmas Nativity creches representing Mary, Joseph and others around the crib of baby Jesus at the Bethlehem stable have a long-standing tradition in Poland. During the holiday season you will find one in every church, but Krakow boasts a unique tradition of creches shaped after the Krakow church of St. Mary. The creches are hand-crafted by artists and amateurs, and entered in an annual competition.
This year's Christmas creche competition takes place on Thursday, Dec. 5. All competing creches must be brought to the Adam Mickiewicz monument in the Old Market before noon. In the afternoon, the creches will be moved to the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, located on the opposite side of the square. There they will be evaluated by a panel of jurors and the winner will be announced the following Sunday, Dec. 8.
The creches will be on display starting in December and can be viewed till mid-February. The museum is located at Rynek Glowny 35 and is open Mon.-Fri. 9am - 5pm, Sat. and Sun. 9am - 4pm.