Historic Stamserhaus in Wenns continues a longstanding Tirol holiday tradition with the display of vivid nineteenth and twentieth-century Nativity scenes. The crèches and the elaborate figures, many of which are original, are among the oldest of Tirol. The year-round installation is the result of the enthusiasm and dedication of the local Christmas Crèche Association.
Stamserhaus in Wenns in Pitztal Valley is a lovingly renovated 700-year-old farmhouse that is among the oldest farmsteads in Tirol. Since 2009, it has been home to a varied and extensive collection of Nativity scenes and Christmas crèches, each a work of art. The exhibit of these crèches is made possible by the Wenns Christmas Crèche Association. The origin of the popular Christmas custom of restaging the Nativity traditionally is credited to Saint Francis of Assisi. The employment of manmade figures to reenact the hallowed events soon developed and reached its height of complexity and artistic excellence in nineteenth and twentieth-century Tirol. Local families vied to outdo each other in presenting elaborate and theatrical crèche displays, made by the finest carvers and sculptors of the period. The Museum’s extraordinary crèche displays are exhibited at the wonderful vaults and on the first floor of the historic Stamserhaus. The crèches and the elaborate figures, many of which are original, are among the oldest of Tirol and have survived the course of time—and a few fires in the 20th century. Moreover, the museum presents a fascinating romp through local folk art.