Folgoso de la Ribera is a town in Leon, in the area known as "El Bierzo," which is an area on the northwestern edge of the province of Leon, bordering on Galicia. Ponferrada, where I spent a memorable few weeks last summer at the albergue on the Camino de Santiago, is the capital of El Bierzo. People who live there are called bercianos. The area has a distinctive culinary style and is famed for its great beans, produce and sausage.
A Spanish friend sent me this wonderful site dedicated to the belen of Folgoso de la Ribera. Started in 1964 by the parish priest, D. Arturo Cabo Carrasco, and the town's teacher, Dª. Loren Collado, it was a very early animated Nativity scene. It is what is called a "belen tradicional," that is, a Nativity scene that features local life, but also has the traditional Nativity scenes, adapted to the locale.
It began with a river with real water. In 1969, one of its great features was a scissors grinder whose grinding wheel threw off sparks...and while that may not seem like much to kids now, back in those days, it was pretty exciting. In fact, most kids now probably do not know that in the sixties, people were still sharpening scissors...
Gradually, different parish priests and others added more figures and scenes. More than 40 years later, it takes up 120 square meters. So here it is! There are lots more photos and they have a video.Go to the website (hint: turn off your speakers unless you really, really love "Santa Claus is Coming to Town").