I started off at the new offices of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall), which has been moved to the old Palacio de Comunicaciones, built in 1907, which used to house the main Post Office.
All of the figures were by José Luis Mayo, and the belenistas had chosen a winter theme.
I went on to the Museo de la Ciudad de Madrid, where associations and belenistas from Murcia had set up their usual huge belén. This was a very traditional one – completely anachronistic, not only showing all of the scenes of the Infancy, but putting them in unexpected places and times. There was a market in front of the Puerta de Toledo (the 19th century city gate that gives access from Toledo, that is, the south, where Murcia is located). There was also a scene in front of the facade of Las Ventas, the Madrid bullring, below.
In the afternoon, I visited the belén at the Casa del Reloj, a building near the river Manzanares that was a somewhat isolated 19th century building on the edge of town used mainly by senior citizens´groups until the development of the arts complex, the Matadero (Slaughterhouse, which was the earlier purpose of the buildings) , which is located right next door.
This scene was done by the Asociación Belenista de Madrid and featured figures by José Luis Mayo, who of course is a madrileño. Accompanying it was an exhibit entitled ¨Los Oficios,¨ which described the different daily tasks and jobs of people of the time of Jesus. There were jobs such as that of ironworker, weaver, leatherworker, etc. Each job had a panel of descriptive text, and each job was represented in the belén. Below we see people dying leather.
In addition, the Association brought out some figures from its huge but rarely seen collection, which covers not only Madrid but all of Spain. Below are some mid-20th century figures from Mallorca. They appear to be frying something, possibly roscas (Spanish-style doughnuts).
Below is the poster, which features an early 20th century figure from Granada.