Oh Little Town 

24 Dec

The indoor market in the old town of Jàvea is always well worth a visit. Built on the site of the former nun’s convent it justifiably takes its place close to the fortified church. Selling probably the best produce locally, it also houses what seem to me to be the most authentic tapas bars we’ve seen in the Costa Blanca area.
At this time of year, however, it also displays a delightful Bethlehem nativity scene. Telling the essential Christmas story, it also manages to reflect the life of both the biblical town and it’s own. The star lights up the windmills on the hill, recognisably similar to the ones that look down on the modern Jàvea, while the figures are individuals, full of character, and suggest people we all know.

Some figures are animated: a woman sits sewing, her needle rising up and down; the sails of the windmills turn and the water flows as a woman washes her hair in the fountain – surely a memory from the time before indoor plumbing.

But it is the market setting and the extraordinary detail of the model’s stalls that brings the world of the Nativity to present day Spain.


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