Candle Arches / Schwibbogen - Handmade christmas window decoration from Germany


Candle Arches / Schwibbogen - Handmade Christmas window decoration from Germany

Our candle arches are the absolute highlight of Christmas window lighting. Handmade candle arches have a long tradition in the Erzgebirge in Germany.  Candle Arches are called „Schwibbogen” in Germany and are a widespread Christmas decoration in Germany. When walking through German towns during Christimas season, you can see a lot of windows lighted with them.

Candle Arches - typical German Christmas decoration

Handmade Candle Arches have a long tradition in the Erzgebirge in Germany. Candle Arches / Schwibbogen represent geometrically the connection of a circular arc with a horizontal secant. The Schwibbogen contains scenic representations that are illuminated by candles on the arch. The artwork is usually placed on pedestals so that they can be fully seen despite the window frame.

Handmade window decoration for the holiday season

The first predecessor of Candle Arches was manufactured 1726 from wrought iron. Nowadays they are mainly produced from wood and show different motifs. Very popular are motifs that reflect the everyday life of the miners and their families. Other variations show Christian motifs from the Christmas story or the forest and its animals. Another well-known motif is the church of the Erzgebirge village of Seiffen, famous for its folk art.

The lights placed on the arch were an expression of the miners' longing for daylight, which they often did not get to see for weeks, especially in the winter months; at the start of work in the early morning it was still dark, and by the end of the shift in the evening the sun had already set. There was another symbolism associated with the illuminated Schwibbogen in the window: the light from the Schwibbogen was supposed to show the miners the safe way back home. An interesting article from the Deutsche Welle you can read here.

The candle arches we offer are by far the most elaborately crafted candle arches that exist in Germany. Especially the company Mueller has its identity in the production of wooden candle arches. In particular, one of the masterpieces available from us is the use of historical buildings from Dresden.


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