Advent at the Bode-Museum


For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. To celebrate this holiday, traditionally, people put up a Christmas tree or a Nativity scene. Since November 25, these two central Christian symbols of Christmas are on display free of charge in the Great Dome of the Bode-Museum. 

Christmas Eve as the date of Jesus’s birth used to be the feast day of Adam and Eve in the liturgical calendar, although the origins of the Christmas tree can be traced back to pagan rituals. In its current form, the Christmas tree arrived in our living rooms in the 19th century.

Traditional apple decorations were often interpreted as a reference to the Garden of Eden, original sin, and the redemption of humanity through Jesus Christ. Because of this, in northern Germany, up until the middle of last century, people decorated their Christmas trees with wooden figures of Adam and Eve, and apples and snakes.

In Catholic regions, Nativity scenes were the more popular decorations, and also formed the focus of other festivities, including Nativity plays featuring Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, along with the Three Wise Men and the angels.

After years without adornment, thanks to LebensWerkGemeinschaft gGmbH, the Bode-Museum now boasts a festive Christmas tree. LebensWerkGemeinschaft gGmbH supports the vocational and social integration of people with disabilities from Berlin and Brandenburg, and has generously donated the tree, with its employees working enthusiastically to set it up. As well as the forestry group, the employees of the organisation work in fields such as the ceramics workshop, kitchen and home economics, construction, in the paper and textile workshops, and in a woodworking shop. The Bode-Museum’s new Christmas tree is a certified organic tree from the Schulte-Göbel family in the Sauerland region. They are one of the founding members of Initiative Bioweihnachtsbaum, and employ sustainable forestry practices, without the use of glyphosate.

The Nativity scene was specially restored for this occasion with the financial support of the Cornelsen Kulturstiftung.