On the left is the part of the basilica where Dona Maria I is buried in the tomb with the black box. The sacristy entrance is behind the tomb.
In the sacristy one finds this magnificent nativity scene commissioned by the Dona in 1781 and took Joachim Machado de Castro five years to build, with the help of his followers/assistants. The scene itself is an elaborate set-up on a wooden frame, covered in virgin cork with 480 terra cotta figures in the scene. The scenes of the Baby in the manger, the angels, the shepherds, the 3 wise men and the soldiers coming to slaughter all infant boys in Bethlehem; are all included. The scene is completed with a lot of people engaged in everyday life activities, mixed into the array.
To provide an idea of size: the top end of the third row of window panes, from the bottom, is about the height of the eyes of mr Average Man.
On Wednesday I will show some detail of the nativity scene.