Beas, “The living Bethelehem”

Beas is seated on a small hill about 123 meters above sea level, belonging to the lands of the County of Huelva, an area characterized because of its wines (Vinos del Condado de Huelva) and its countryside activities.

This small town near the capital is focused on two main pillars: agriculture and livestock.

Regardless of its productions of wines, oils and cereals, Beas is locally known for its festivals and celebrations, and more specifically for its so-called:  “Living Bethlehem”.

Organized from beginning of December till beginning of January by the Brotherhood of  “Ntra. Sra. de los Clarines”, this nativity scene is installed in a place built expressly for that purpose, in 3.000 square meters of land, which 2.000 are fully dedicated to the scenes that make up what, to the delight of the audience.

Its big attraction is that the visitor is immersed in a multitude of sensations (sight of scenes and characters with real animals, architectures, objects, artefacts and ancient furnishings, typical Christmas music, and even the taste of traditional deserts and breads of Beas). This whole host of factors has led to 37 years after its founding the Living Bethlehem becomes the main tourist attraction on this small village, collecting between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors in each edition.

Visitors will also have a large number of services around this “living Bethlehem” to make them the most pleasant stay in Beas: Restaurants, Coffe shops, and local Bars, will offer the most traditional products during the Christmas season.

Come and enjoy this amazing village and its environment, where tradition, culture and history take part on each corner.

The most significant monument is the Church of St. Bartholomew Parish, located on the top of the hill on which sits the town of Beas. The building, which responds to the distinctive Gothic-Mudejar temple, whose construction could start during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, has a rectangular plan with three naves and transept. Its tower, is one of the highest and most beautiful in the province.

This building construction had seized the remains of an ancient watchtower. For layout and forms may be said to be a tower of the late eighteenth century, whose end is marked by the date in your weathervane: 1829. Inside the church there is a rich artistic heritage (Virgen del Rosario, Virgen de Gracia, San Bartolomé and the Blood of Christ from the XVI century, pieces of jewelery, paintings, etc.)..

Among the religious buildings of the village, is still preserved in the streets of Santa Engracia hospital chapel of Santa María de Gracia, Mudéjar layout, founded in 1566 as Pascual Madoz and dedicated to the care of poor and abandoned children.

Also we must emphasize the Town Hall being renovated in 1999, conducted in 1881 by the architect Manuel Pérez González, and the building used today as Casa de la Cultura, projected a year later by the same architect for the town schools.
Three kilometers from Beas is the Hermitage of Clarines whose current structure is the result of reconstruction carried out in the same in 1970, after the effects of the earthquake of 1969 and subsequent reforms in 1980 and 1990. This area preserves important image size, as the Lord of Clarines, by Leon Ortega 1943; the image of Our Lady of the Castle Clarines Lastrucci 1938 and Santa Ana, the image of the late sixteenth century.

We should not forget some other important places as:

Navahermosa “Ermita de las Mercedes”. Inside it retains the image of the Virgen de las Mercedes, polychrome wood carving in 1992.

Candón: highlighted in the Parish Church of St. Joseph, whose inauguration took place in 1917. The interior of the church has a nave roof and ceiling. Like most outstanding pieces in it are a polychrome wood sculpture of the Sacred Heart, made by Manuel Cerquera in 1939, a crucifix Leon Ortega, made in 1980 and the image of San José in polychrome and carved wood in 1995.

Finally, include the Shrine of “Nuestra Señora de España”, although located in Sotiel Coronada, municipality of Calañas, is tied by history and feelings to Beas inhabitants because is venerated since time immemorial. The current image of the Virgin is the work of Antonio Castillo Lastrucci, at 1956.

This and many more is what you cand find at this marvellous land where the light lives.


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