Why there are two Oberraindlhof
at Christmas
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Why there are two Oberraindlhof at Christmas

Andrea called the nativity scene makers from Katharinaberg "norrat", meaning foolish. She couldn't understand why such otherwise decent people retreated to a cellar room for weeks on end and often didn't return home until well after midnight. Of course, a hobby is all well and good, as is faith in the Lord God and his kingdom of heaven. But what the members of the cot building association were up to was simply not quite right for Elisabeth. You guessed it, as in any good story, there had to be a twist. And it went like this:

Wine bliss and a momentous realisation

One evening, our courtiers were sitting together over a glass of wine and talking about this and that. And somehow, no one can quite remember why, the conversation turned to the tradition of the nativity scene. You have to realise that this has a very special significance here in South Tyrol. Depending on space and budget, there is a small, hand-carved nativity scene with the holy nuclear family in every home, on every farm, or the really big, oriental nativity scene with a desert landscape and camels and water carriers and all sorts of amazing things. Or something in between. But the fact that there is no nativity scene at all hardly ever happens. Except ... Exactly! Here at the Oberraindlhof. Andrea was horrified. She looked at her father-in-law Helmuth in disbelief and was amazed when he said that there had probably been a nativity scene in the past, one made of paper, but that it had somehow been lost over time, probably during the last renovation. Elisabeth had to swallow. And poured herself another glass of wine. That was quite something: the Oberraindlhof didn't have a nativity scene and nobody had really noticed.

Andrea has an intuition

Chance is an unpredictable fellow. Or did fate have a hand in it after all? In any case, it didn't take long for Andrea's neighbour's WhatsApp status to catch her eye: "Crib building course in Val Senales starting soon," it said. It hit Andrea like a bolt of lightning and she suddenly realised that she was going to build a nativity scene. But not just any crib. It had to be the Oberraindlhof. As a 1 to 1 model. Exactly as it looked when Helmuth was a child. It came as it had to: shortly afterwards, an extremely determined Andrea, ready for anything, marched down into the cellar of the Katharinaberg crib-building friends. Then it started, you can believe it! Andrea spent every spare minute working on her cot. Always in view: An old black and white photo of the Oberraindlhof. And even if the experienced cot builders looked at her a little askance, in the end they had to admit without envy that the miniature version had turned out pretty well.

Better safe than sorry: the Oberraindlhof as a nativity scene

Our Andrea was already a little tired and exhausted, after all, building nativity scenes is an art. But in the end she had learnt a lot. For example, where to find the best building materials in the forest, how exactly scale works and that every little detail counts. Then the time had come: the cot friends presented their work at an exhibition and Andrea was able to hand over her masterpiece to her father-in-law Helmuth. Since then, the Oberraindlhof has existed twice. The Oberraindlhof nativity scene can be admired at the Oberraindlhof until Candlemas on 2 February. Will she be so "norrat" again and build another nativity scene, our dear Andrea? Probably not. You shouldn't get overconfident.

How the nativity scene was created