Decorative free-standing Nativity scenes date from the 13th century, and by the 18th century, German artisans were carving wooden Nativity scenes for residential and civic display. Morovian Protestant immigrants brought Nativity scene-building to America about that time, founding towns like Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where the making of Nativity scenes and putz villages continues today. Antique Nativity scenes of wood or ceramics generally feature the manger, holy family, wise men, shepherds, and angels.


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