Rute, the place with the world’s largest chocolate Nativity Scene

Rute is a Cordovan town of almost ten thousand inhabitants known for its Chocolate Nativity Scene, the largest in the world. However, this is not the only reason to visit Rute at Christmas.

Its factories of mantecados, anisette and its Museo del Jamón will convince you.

🗺 What to see in Rute in 1 day

Rute is perfect for a day trip from (almost) anywhere in the provinces of Cordoba, Seville, Jaen and Malaga.

The world’s largest chocolate Nativity Scene

This is Rute’s main tourist attraction.

Since the year 200, Galleros Artesanos has been creating this incredible Chocolate Nativity Scene. Every year the theme is different. This year it is dedicated to Easter, with magical castles, a village of gnomes and even Father Christmas’ own factory.

To make this 65 square metre Chocolate Nativity Scene, 1,600 kgs of chocolate were needed. Dark, white, milk and even coloured chocolates have been used in the construction of this majestic Nativity Scene.

You could spend half an afternoon in the Museum and not have finished seeing every single detail of the Chocolate Nativity Scene. In this respect, it reminded me a lot of Mini Wunderland, the miniature museum in Hamburg where children and adults alike were left open-mouthed.

Throughout the year they have various exhibits, such as the Easter steps of Andalusia and life-size chocolate figures of the Pope, the Royal Family, Juan y Medio, among others.

But only from mid-October until the beginning of January, the world’s largest chocolate nativity scene is on display. A real work of art, which, after Christmas, turns into a great chocolatada.

📅 Opening Hours

Open every day from 12th October to 5th January, except 25th December and 1st January. Opening hours are 10:00 – 13:30 and 16:00 to 19:30.

🎟 Admission

The entrance fee is 1€, which is discounted when you buy any of the products in the shop.

Sugar Museum

This is one of the best places to see in Rute.

The museum is made up of several rooms. The first is dedicated to famous people such as Lola Flores, Michael Jackson, Dali and Pablo Piccaso. There is also an exhibition of works of art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez – the largest sugar painting in the world – or El Guernica by Piccaso.

The Patio de los Leones of the Alhambra in Granada or the Palace Gate of the Mosque of Cordoba, among other representative places of Andalusia, is what awaits us in the second room of the Sugar Museum.

In the third room, La Flor de Rute surprises us with a particular tour around the world, made entirely of sugar. Here we find emblematic buildings such as the Taj Mahal, Tower Bridge, Empire State Building or St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, the great novelty this year.

Not forgetting the Disneyland Paris Castle, the favourite model of all those who visit this museum.

📅 Opening Hours

Open from October 12th to January 5th, the rest of the year closed. Every day from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:30, except 25th December and 1st January when it is closed, and 24th, 31st and 5th January when it closes at 14:00.

🎟 Admission

Open from October 12th to January 5th, the rest of the year closed. Every day from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:30, except 25th December and 1st January when it is closed, and 24th, 31st and 5th January when it closes at 14:00.

Machaquito Aniseed

Anís Machaquito is an aniseed factory located in Rute, and since 1876 it has been one of the most renowned aniseed stills in this Cordovan town.

The stills are not for exhibition, as in the Anisette Museum. They are still in use, and if you visit from Monday to Thursday you will be able to see the process at first hand.

During the visit, you can taste some of the products they sell. The sweet aniseed is very good.

📅 Opening Hours

Open every day of the year, from 09:00 – 19:30 (Mon), 08:00 – 19:30 (Mon-Fri) and 10:30 – 20:00 (Sat and Sun).

🎟 Admission

Admission is free.

Aniseed Museum

The town of Rute has more than 4 centuries of history in the distillation of aniseed. Therefore, a visit to the museum dedicated to this drink could not be missed in this town.

The guided tour of the Anisette Museum begins in a Cordovan house to see the cellars and visit the most beautiful Cordovan courtyard in the province; it has been awarded several prizes in recent years.

The Patios of Cordoba are Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In fact, a festival dedicated to this Cordoban tradition is held in May. Although visiting the patios is one of the best things to do in Cordoba at any time of the year.

The next stop is the museum. It has 4 rooms located in the oldest part of an old distillery. In the stills room, where the guide will tell us about the history of anisette in Rute.

The visit then continues through the rest of the rooms, where you can learn more about the origin of anisette and taste the different types of drinks that they make.

The last stop is the shop – if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic drink, the San Francisco is delicious!

📅 Opening Hours

Open all year round, with special opening hours in June and August. Except for the months of October, November and December, when it is open every day of the week, its usual opening hours are 09:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 19:00 (M-F) and 10:00 to 14:00 (S).

🎟 Admission

The guided tour costs 4.5€.

Ice Nativity Scene

Located in the Museo del Turrón Artesano, next to the Chocolate Nativity Scene museum, is the Iced Nativity Scene, a small exhibition of the Nativity built with ice.

Admission is €1, refundable with your purchase. The opening hours are the same as those of the Chocolate Nativity Scene Museum.

Museum of Ham and Cured Meat

These are two independent museums, located in different parts of Rute. One of them is dedicated to ham, and the other to cured meats, although both are more like shops for tourists than museums.

Entrance to the Museo de la Chacina is free and you can taste the products on sale before buying any of them. Entrance to the Museo del Jamón costs €1, which is refundable with your purchase. You can taste a skewer with several slices of their different products, they sell village bread from the Tahona de Iznajar and the euro of your ticket can be exchanged for a drink.

🎄 Rute at Christmas

The best time to visit Rute is at Christmas.

Rute is home to the world’s largest chocolate Nativity Scene, and has several establishments dedicated to anisette and mantecados (shortbread). And if that wasn’t enough, they have their own Ham Museum.

So…. Christmas shopping, here we go! 😜

Make sure you bring your own cloth bag. In Rute, EVERYONE ends up having a bite to eat.

TOURS

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