The Largest Christmas Crib in the World


Opening times

May 1 to October 31
       1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Advent season to January 6
       1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Entrance fees

Adults5.50 sfr
4.50 sfr
Children2.50 sfr
Museum passesfree


Diorama Bethlehem
Benzigerstrasse 23
CH-8840 Einsiedeln

Tel: +41 - (0)55 412 26 17


Biographies of the artists

Ferdinand Pöttmesser (crib maker)

Ferdinand PötmesserBorn in Meran, Tyrol, on 26 July 1895 . Training as a businessman. As a crib maker autodidact. Created his first large crib (the later crib of the Diorama Bethlehem) during the years 1930 to 1935 at the castle Neuhaus near Bruneck. 1949 resettlement to Innsbruck. 1952 selling of the crib (just the figures) to Einsiedeln. From 1954 to 1958 building of a second large crib using the plastic landscape and the background painting of the first one. Died on 24 May in 1977 in Innsbruck

Works: large crib at Einsiedeln (Switzerland), Large crib at Steyr/Christkindl (Austria)

Bartholomäus Wappmannsberger (painter)

Bartholomäus WappmannsbergerBorn in Prien / Chiemsee on 15 December 1894 . From 1909 to 1914 education as painter and gilder. From 1914 to 1916 work as a church painter in Alt?tting. From 1919 to 1921 studies at the State School of Arts and the private painting school of Heinrich Knirr in Munich. From 1921 to 1924 studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (Professors: Karl von Marr and Martin von Feuerstein). Since 1926 studio in Munich, after the war in Prien. Died on 2 February 1984 in Prien.

Works: Church paintings, mural paintings ("Lüftlmalerei"), cribs, landscapes, portraits

Reinhold Zellner (sculptor)

Reinhold ZellnerBorn in Munich on 13 April 1903 . Apprenticeship as wood sculptor. From 1921 studies at the State High school of Practical Arts with professor Robert Engels and companion at the house of count Courten. 1939 resettlement to Tegernsee as independent artist. After the war working as crib maker; first in Munich, since 1957 in Altötting. Died on 6 April 1990 in Altötting.

Works: Town crib of Munich in the patio of the town hall of Munich. "Altöttinger Schau" (History of pilgrimage in Altötting). Originals of Munich at the Donisl. Tin-figure-dioramas and innumerable cribs.

Dr. Wilhelm Döderlein (artistic coordinator)

Wilhelm DöderleinBorn in Munich 2 May 1903. Studies of history of arts at the university of Munich. Working for the Bavarian Office of Ethnology. In 1945 entrusted by the Bavarian National Museum with the restoration of the Schmederer crib collection which had been partly destroyed during the war. Since 1949 curator in charge of the ethnological department of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich. Died on 11 July 1964.

Works: Crib films: Stern von Bethlehem (Star of Bethlehem), Die Passion (The Passion), Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth). Books: Vom Krippenbauen (with Wilhelm Lessig), Kempten 1950; Alte Krippen, Munich 1960; Krippengeschichten, Munich 1963.