Le village miniature •
Les Crèches du Monde •
Les Crèches d'Italie •
Les Crèches du Pérou •
Les Crèches d'Afrique •
The miniature village • Die Miniatur-Dorf • -->
The life of a village in Provence,
a true reflection of tradition,
where you can get acquainted
with all the trades early last century.
The miniature village covers a floor area of 400 square meters
All the colours of Provence before you amazed eyes.
The life of the village in Provence :
The original folk dance, the "farandole", around the mill of Alphonse Daudet, the pétanque game on the village square, those playins cards outside the café, the country life, the gypsy camp, etc...
Origin of santons
Staging the Nativity scene dates back to the Middle Ages. At this time, plays were very popular but they were based on pagan traditions.
As the main theme was the birth of Our Saviour, the church was against this kind of representation. These live nativity plays, using village people as the actors and real animals, became more and more common. Gradually the actors were replaced by figures made of wood, cardboard, wax, etc. The first crib scenes, like those we know today, first appeared in churches in the 15th century.
As religious festivals were banned during the French Revolution, cribs retreated from public areas into people’s homes. Little by little, cribs became inspired by daily scenes and characters from local life were added. In Provence, these characters are called Santons from « SANTOUN » in Provençal, meaning Little Saint.
From the 19th century onwards, the Provençal crib scene became even more popular. All the trades of the period were shown in local costume.
Among these characters who appear in pastoral stories, we can find Baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the Ox and the Donkey, the Angel, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, the Village Idiot, the Town Crier with his tambourin, the Fisherman, the Water Carrier, the Miller, the Baker, the Basket Maker, the Grinder, the Washerwoman, etc..
You will see all these trades and characters portrayed at the miniature Provençal village.