Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is excited to present our Holiday Putz Trail, a collection of displays at two of our historic sites. A Putz is a traditional Moravian decoration used around Christmas time. The word comes from the German term, which means “to decorate” or “to embellish.” These miniature replicas depict various settings of the Nativity story through the use of ornate, hand-crafted figurines. Each set may feature animals, buildings, and amazing details to recreate the holiest of scenes.
A whole new world! In keeping with the spirit of building a Moravian putz - Historic Bethlehem is presenting an expansion of that miniature world in its new exhibition - PUTZTOWN. Mike Cox and Jim Whildin, builders of the putzes Historic Bethlehem has displayed for the past 10 years, have created these theme rooms using 119 buildings Jim has built over the last seven years.
For the holiday season, the exhibit captures the splendor of Christmas. The large putz, which is built each year in the Sisters’ House, features the Museum’s beautiful hand carved wooden figures. The downtown contains many favorite Bethlehem traditions, including carriage rides, the Goundie House Advent Calendar, the holiday shopping huts on Bethlehem’s Main Street, and the lighting of the City Christmas tree. Carolers crowd the streets, and Santas can be found throughout the display- delivering presents, eating, and even playing sports. There is even a small Christkindlmart!
Admission to the Holiday Putz Trail is part of the Trees of Historic Bethlehem Pass, which grants visitors access to the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, the Single Sisters’ House, and the Luckenbach Mill.
Want to meet the Putz Designers? Jim Whildin and Mike Cox will be providing tours to visitors from 1-4 PM on December 11, 16, 18, 20, and 31.