Ukraine’s Largest Nativity Scene Set up in Ternopil
It features massive animated figures
It features massive animated figures.
With each year, the nativity scene in the church is growing and changing. Now, it’s as wide as the church itself, and its top reaches the dome.
“We had the first nativity scene back when there was a temple instead of the church, around 1996, in the first years of Ukraine’s independence. It was small back then,” parishioner Vasyl said.
In the center are baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Next to them, there is an entire village, with houses and various characters.
“It’s 27 meters tall and 40 meters wide. New constructions are added every year. Here, we can see how the town expanded. There are new buildings, castles and new animated figures,” priest Pantaleon said.
All the animated elements are made by one person, Father Kosmo. He doesn’t talk to journalists, but according to other monks, building a giant animated nativity scene was his childhood dream.
“When he was around eight years old, his aunt took him to a large nativity scene. There were many moving elements, and he was amazed. He says that he stood still for several minutes and watched it. Since then, he has wanted to understand how it works,” a priest said.
This year, father Kosmo added new figures to the nativity scene: a blacksmith, a monk and a milkmaid. The scene quickly became one of Ternopil’s tourist attractions.
“Come, if you haven’t been here yet. It’s beautiful. You can feel real Christmas here. It’s great,” parishioner Halyna said.
The nativity scene is open to visitors after the morning church service. It will stay in the church until Candlemas Day, Feb. 15.