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



In the early 1930's Ferdinand Pöttmesser, a crib maker from South Tyrol, built a giant Christmas crib with hundreds of figures which he exhibited in South Tyrol, Tyrol and Upper Italy with great success. In 1953 he sold the figures to Einsiedeln.

Taking the Pöttmesser figures as the starting point Dr. William Döderlein, curator of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, created the concept of the Christmas crib for the Diorama Bethlehem. The plastic landscape was created by the sculptor Reinhold Zellner of Munich. The background which measures more than 30 m was painted by Bartholomew Wappmannsberger of Prien/Chiemsee.

Great stress was put on creating an exact copy of the environs of Bethlehem and to represent the birth of Christ according to biblical tradition. Thanks to the professional skills of the artist involved and their excellent co-operation this goal was achieved in a impressive way. The inauguration of the Diorama Bethlehem took place in 1954.

The map of Judaea on the front of the building was painted in 1958 by Bartholomew Wappmannsberger.


The Diorama Bethlehem was founded as a commercial business in 1953 by Karl Eberle together with his brothers Adelrich and Joseph and his brother-in-law Albert Birchler under the name of "Neues Diorama Bethlehem Ltd".

In 2005 Dr. Adelrich Eberle incorporated the "Diorama Bethlehem Foundation" to which he donated all the shares of the Ltd. company.

The Diorama Bethlehem is financially independent and receives no public funds.