Each holiday season, from Light Up Night in November through Epiphany in January, the Pittsburgh Crèche delights vistors to downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Creche, a larger-than-life nativity scene, is the world’s only authorized replica of the Vatican’s Christmas crèche on display in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
What to Expect:
The Pittsburgh Creche stable, constructed from the plans of Vatican architect Umberto Mezzana, is 64 feet wide, 42 feet high, 36 feet deep, and weighs approximately 66,000 pounds. A total of twenty life-size figures grace the Pittsburgh Creche,including figures of the infant Jesus, May, Joseph, the Three Kings, three shepherds, a woman and child, a servant girl, three angels, and various animals (camel, donkey, ox, cow, ram and goat).
History of the Pittsburgh Crèche:
During a business trip to Rome, Louis D. Astorino, chairman of the Pittsburgh architectural firm L.D. Astorino Companies, first saw the Vatican crèche and was moved by its beauty. Envisioning a similar display in his hometown of Pittsburgh, he worked to gain approval from Vatican officials, secure the actual plans for the crèche, and commission its sculptor to recreate the figures for Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Creche first opened for public viewing in 1999, and now opens annually each holiday season at its permanent display site, US Steel Plaza at 600 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
Planning Your Visit:
The Pittsburgh Creche is open for public viewing 24 hours per day at its permanent display site, US Steel Plaza at 600 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, from the Friday of Light Up Night in mid-November, through the celebration of Epiphany in January (November 19, 2010 - January 8, 2011).
A number of local musical groups and choruses, as well as national singers perform at the Pittsburgh Crèche. See The Pittsburgh Crèche Web site for the current schedule of upcoming choral performances.
The Pittsburgh Crèche
600 Grant St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219