Since December 2006 all the people who visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have a possibility to visit the biggest open-air sand nativity scene in the world! The nativity scene is located at the Las Canteras beach and since the beginning of the tradition, more than 1.500.000 people have visited it already.
The sand sculptures are created by the artisans from all over the world. This year 9 artisans from 7 countries (Russia, France, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, USA, Sapin) had the honor to create the 10 scenes of the sand nativity. They used around 2000 tons of sand to create sculptures that reach up to 4 meters in height and occupy 150 square meters of Las Canteras beach.
A lot of tourists and locals visit the open air museum. Last year there were more than 200.000 visitors making this unique sand sculpture the third most visited museum in Spain if counting the monthly visitor’s numbers. Only Museo Reina Sofía and Museo del Prado have more visits than Belén de Arena de Las Canteras.
City guards – two big roman soldiers protecting the city of Bethlehem and its citizens.
Crib scene – Baby Jesus is just born in a humble stable.
Offerings by the Three Wise Men – Come from East, the Tree Wise Men – Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar – are about to offer their gifts to Baby Jesus.
Return from Egypt – After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
Our family has been visiting the Belén de Arena since its beginning and while every year the theme is the same, the sculptors surprise every year. If you are visiting Las Palmas de Gran Canaria during the month of December and the beginning of January, we recommend you to pay these wonderful sand sculptures a visit!