The Christmas celebrations in El Castillo de las Guardas are somewhat unusual. In fact, this village, which is close to the source of the Guadiamar river, in the Sierra Norte area of Seville province, has become quite famous for its ‘belén viviente’, or Living Nativity, which takes place in the atmospheric setting of El Torreón, the remains of a Moorish castle which was built above the village.
The location, in this ancient building with its wonderful views, makes the Living Nativity in El Castillo de las Guardas something very special.
It first started 15 years ago and has taken place every Christmas since. It is an important event for the village, as most of the residents are involved in some way, including about 50 children.
The Living Nativity takes the form of a reenactment of different scenes relating to the birth of Jesus, and it is so true to life that it even includes animals loaned by local people especially for the purpose.
This year, there has been a special emphasis on the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.
One of the attractions of this performance is the fact that there is interaction between those taking part and the audience. This makes it particularly interesting for visitors, who can feel truly involved in the traditional story of Christmas.
The Living Nativity in El Castillo de las Guardas is performed numerous times during the festive season. It began on 7 December, and from now on it can be seen this Saturday at 12.30pm and on Sunday at 5.30pm, and after that it will take place on 23, 25, 28, 29 and 30 December and 1, 2, 3 and 4 January (mostly afternoons).
Christmas in Andalucía
At this time of year there is always plenty to see and do in the whole of the region of Andalucía, and for those who are on the other side and for whom a trip to Seville would take too long, especially if they are history buffs, it is worth heading instead to the province of Jaén, where several towns and villages have organised a busy programme of activities relating to the Iberian civilisation.
From now until 5 January there will be guided tours and theatrical performances at archaeological sites such as, for example, those at Cástulo and Puente Tablas.
Further information about the events can be obtained by visiting the website www.viajealtiempodelosiberos.com