20 September 2010

The Animated Crib


It's easy to walk past this doorway in the village of Gorbio but if you notice it, wonders await.

The sign says Crèche Animée which means 'animated crib.' You put your hand through the bars, flick the switch and suddenly the lights come on and the village is alive - the children go up and down on a seesaw, the angel above the crib moves back and forth waving her light, the baker puts his bread in the oven, the cows get milked etc etc.

The ironwork gate is backed by a piece of clear perspex leaving just one small space for the hand to flick the switch or place the lens of a camera, so not easy to photograph.

This nativity scene, created by one of the villagers, Monsieur René Zumerli, is in place all year round and you can throw a coin onto the floor to help cover the cost of electricity if you wish.

16 comments:

  1. You did a grand job with the bottom photo ! Amazing that the "crèche" is available for view all year round...

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  2. How amazing. Absolutely magical.

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  3. Quite wonderful. Reminds me of a place, I think it is in St Jean du Gard, with an all year santons exhibition. Am I right in supposing these are santons de Provence as well?

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  4. Rob and Mandy, yes there are santons de Provence indeed.

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  5. j'aime bien cette ruelle; du vieux village

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  6. a wonderful surprise when walking past the old doorways, and such delight when one turns on the switch.

    Lovely,

    Joanny

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  7. You enter a beautiful world once you put your head through the bars...
    Thank you for the tour Jilly.
    Costas

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  8. Jilly, I adore your feel for composition and color. Bravo!

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  9. Oh my goodness, this is fabulous! I hope everyone leaves money so that it can go on and on and on. Thanks for the photos, Jilly.

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  10. How nice! In Lebanon at Christmas time the big, fancy department stores set up animated creche displays like the one you photographed. Some of them are very elaborate.

    It's interesting to see one in a hidden, almost secret place.

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  11. What an interesting place.

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  12. This is really pretty, and you know WHY I can say that..

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  13. This reminds me of a similar animation found in an Assisi grotto ... Mechanized nativity scene by Signore Silvano Giombolini

    http://pefley.photoshelter.com/image/I0000rwqjt4O4G.k

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  14. Chuck, that is just lovely. It looks as if the people are life-size, but that probably says a lot about the artisan's talent. And a super photo of it too.

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