Crèche at St-Gervais-sur-Mare
The animated crèche at St-Gervais-sur-Mare is a local wonder. The stable scene is altogether traditional, Jesus is not placed in the manger until Christmas Eve. The wonder is the surrounding buildings. A complete miniature village representing all the crafts and industries of the area. There is a farrier, a cloutier or nail maker, miners, shepherds, a blacksmith's forge, a stream with fishermen and many more creations. The whole village is the work of one man, Monsieur Mas, and his wife and has been built over the past 16 years, The buildings are made of local stone and the roof tiles are typical provençal pantiles made from clay (more than 11,000 of them!). Many of the models are animated with the workings driven by scavenged windscreen wiper and washing machine motors. Monsieur Mas can tell you who is represented by many of the model villagers. The crèche is located in the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs in the village and is open until mid February. I really recommend a visit if you are in the area! Happy Christmas.