Going for a stroll or hike to visit a nativity scene or two is a popular pastime in Tyrol. Oberperfuss is a very well-known nativity scene location that is home to outstanding woodcarvers. Every festive season, numerous visitors flock to the village to admire the stunning works of art in local homes and buildings. Given the current restrictions due to the coronavirus, the Oberperfuss Nativity Scene Association, which is run by the Chairman Christian Spiegl, has come up with an extra-special nativity scene walk for visitors:
The walk starts in the car park next to Oberperfuss Parish Church, where you can park for free. In front of the parish church you will see the beautiful village nativity scene by Konrad Spiegl, a grandson of Oberperfuss' famous woodcarver Josef Spiegl, who carved thousands of sheep that can now be admired in many of Tyrol's nativity scenes. When you enter the church, be sure to check out the baptistery on the left, where you can view the stunning old church nativity scene, a mountainous crib scene created by Karl Triendl, featuring figurines made by Giner, Seisl, Mundi, etc. and a background by Pögl Alois.
Other attractive highlights of the Baroque parish church include the tomb next to the church wall and the sundial by the famous cartographer Peter Anich on the south side of the church.
After leaving the parish church, continue west for a few minutes until you reach the Hotel Krone, home to the Niederkircher family's inn nativity scene. At the reception desk, you will see a sign reading "zur Krippe". Follow the signs directing visitors through the hallways to the "Steincafé" and it won't be long until you're suddenly standing in front of a true work of art so large that it needs its own room: Tyrol’s largest private nativity scene with a width of 5.2 metres and depth of 2.4 metres. The scene contains hundreds of figurines depicting various stories from the Bible, for example the Annunciation, Mary and Joseph's search for a room, the birth of Jesus in the stall, the shepherds in the field and the visit of the Three Wise Men. The painted background of the nativity scene has a genuine oriental feel to it. Hundreds of the figurines in the scene date back to a period lasting two centuries and are believed to be connected to the late-Baroque Giner school from the end of the 18th century. This nativity scene takes an impressive total of two weeks to install. It is a truly fascinating original replica of Jesus' birthplace, Jerusalem, the landscape, the shepherds' clothes and the animals. Back when the scene was created, a number of local residents embarked on what were extremely difficult pilgrimages to the Holy Land in order to be able to realistically recreate what happened in the nativity.
The Niederkircher Nativity Scene at the Hotel Krone in Oberperfuss is truly tremendous and well worth a visit.
After admiring this work of art, you can bring your nativity scene tour to the perfect close at the neighbouring M1 café and restaurant.
The car park next to the parish church is only a short walk from the restaurant, or you can choose to go on a longer walk starting at the Hotel Krone and leading you through the village before following the Blasius-Hueber-Weg path back to the car park. You can, of course, also enjoy this very sunny route before setting out on your nativity scene tour.