German Christmas Pyramids -Light & Movement Brighten The Holidays
In our home everyone is excited when the German Wooden Christmas Pyramids come out of their boxes. We have two in my home… one depicting the Nativity, the other is a band of sweet Angels.
Some Pyramids are large and wildly intricate, depicting multiple scenes on multiple levels. Others are small, simple, and have only a few carved figures. All are beautiful in their own way.
These German Wooden Christmas Pyramids are the type of decoration that will become a family heirloom…. brought out and enjoyed every year for many Christmases to come.
In our house, the kids take turns lighting the candles to send the Pyramid rotating.
History of the German Christmas Pyramid
Large German Wooden Christmas Pyramid in Esslingen
German Wooden Christmas Pyramids come from the Erzebirge (Ore Mountains) of Germany. Miners used a simple machine called a Capstan to lift Ore from deep under ground. These wooden Capstans, are “a vertical axeled rotating machine”, which in regular language means… a wheel is turned around, and it turns a vertical axel to lift or move something on the other end. And these principles were used to add movement to the pyramids. First they build larger “Lichtergestelle”, or Light Stands that began as wooden beams topped by Pine Boughs and candles. In time they shrunk them down so they to smaller sizes. These simple constructions brought light and cheer into homes during the dark winter. Basically, the round part at the top turns because of rising heat from candles, and it rotates the center axel, which turns the platform with the figures.
Carved figures were added, depicting everyday life, but also depicting Christian motifs like angels and the Nativity. Today, Holiday scenes are very common on Christmas Pyramids, you will find Santa and Penguins, Children and Snowmen, as well as familiar Manger Scenes.
Christmas Markets in Germany, especially in the Southern parts of Germany, will often display Giant Christmas Pyramids for all to see. They are truly spectacular.
Most common though, are the smaller Christmas Pyramids that you can have in your home. Like the early versions, they add light and joy to the home.
We saw so many German Christmas Pyramids in Seiffen! In Workshops and in the Spielzeugmuseum. There they still make these special decorations by hand. Yes, they cost more, but the quality shows… and they last a lifetime!
At the Spielzeugmuseum, Seiffen
At the Richard Glässer workshop. Assembled and waiting for the Pinwheel
In the Seiffen Kunstwerkstadt. A more Modern Design
Pyramids as Outdoor Decor
My Favorite German Christmas Pyramids have Angels
Richard Glasser Christmas Wooden Pyramids
A long history of quality wood carvings
In 1934 Richard Glasser began carving and selling wooden figurines in the city of Seiffen, in the Erzeberg Mountains of Germany. He wanted to be sure to use the best quality woods, carve friendly figures, but keep them affordable for everyone. He sold the figurines individually, but the best were put into Nativity Scenes or onto Christmas Pyramids.
Today, 130 Employees produce over 800 different items at their workshop in Seiffen. Their Pyramids are probably the most famous, but they also produce Smokers, Nativity Sets and Music Boxes using designs and motifs that have been in use for centuries. The “RG” logo is on every Richard Glaesser product and is a sign for highest quality from the German Erzgebirge. Visiting the workshop was an amazing experience!
And now, there are even mini-pyramids… only 4 inches tall!
Alexander Taron 1605 Richard Glaesser Pyramid-Angel Musicians-10.5Richard Glaesser Mini Pyramid Cats Made in GermanyRichard Glässer Seiffen German Christmas Pyramid Nativity Scene, 3-Tier, Height 55 cm / 22 inch, Natural with tealights, Original Erzgebirge by Richard Glaesser SeiffenRichard Glässer Seiffen German Christmas Pyramid Nativity Scene, 2-Tier, Height 40 cm / 16 inch, Original Erzgebirge by Richard Glaesser SeiffenAlexander Taron Importer 16212 Richard Glaesser Pyramid-Nativity and Wisemen-11.751-Tier German Christmas Pyramid Winter Children, for Tea Candles – 29cm / 11.4inch – Richard Glässer
Colorful Wooden Pyramids from KWO
KWO is a collective of Erzgebirge wood carving families that produce authentic German Christmas Pyramids and other wooden ornaments.
New MODERN Christmas Pyramids
For those who prefer a minimalist look, but still want the light and movement.
Graupner Christmas Pyramids
These German Wooden Christmas Pyramids are super colorful and fun to watch… especially for children. Because they use tea lights, the candles are easy to replace (and certainly not drippy at all). These little pyramids really are tiny! Only 5 inches tall. But they pack a lot of entertainment and magic into such a small space!
German Pyramid Houses are Sweet
These lovely German Pyramid Houses have so much to discover. The big House us 21 inches tall and has singing Angels peek out of upstairs windows. A beautifully carved Nativity scene fills the bottom of the pyramid, surrounded by a spinning scene of Shepherds, Sheep and Wise Men. The detail is incredible.
This is a very special German Nativity Pyramid. With its fantastic and intricate craftsmanship, it is sure to become a family heirloom, passed from generation to generation, delighting your family for years to come. (I got to see it in action in Seiffen!). Wouldn’t this be amazing in your home?
But there are so many other beautiful Pyramid Houses in different sizes and different prices
Advent house small pyramid Pyramid house handcrafted Seiffen 53cm Ore Mountains NEWVolker Zenker Dregano Mini Deer Geman Pyramid Smoking House Made in GermanyBRUBAKER Christmas Pyramid – 19.3 Inches – Designed in GermanyKurt Adler Wood Alpine House Carousel with Candles, 12-Inch
Natural Wooden Pyramids from Christian Ulbricht
The base of most of these natural Pyramids don’t spin around like the others. Instead, you have a smiling Woodsman, or a Happy Snowman Standing in a forest while the pinwheel moves above them. They are a bit smaller, and only require tea lights, so it’s easy to replace the candles. I love the simply painted ones almost as much as the bare natural wood. (In fact, most of the styles come natural or painted) And aren’t those little Angels flying over St Nicholas’s head adorable?
These German Christmas Pyramids are certain to delight the whole family.
Christian Ulbricht 33-200 Pyramid-Woodsman-7.5Christian Ulbricht Christmas Pyramid – Holy Family NaturalChristian Ulbricht 33-304 Pyramid, Santa in Natural Wood finish-11 H W x 10Christian Ulbricht Nutcrackers and Smokers Dregano Forest Deer Star Pyramid TeaLight, GermanyChristian Ulbricht 1-Tier Pyramid Santa at The Striezel Market – 19,5 cm / 7.7 inch1-Tier Pyramid – Carolers Natural – 19,5 cm / 7.5 inch
German Christmas Pyramids… there really are TOO many to Choose from…
I love all the different sizes and styles. Whether you like a colorful pyramid, or natural, modern or old fashioned…. simple or multi-tiered, there is a pyramid for you! Many of these are Vintage.
Vintage German Christmas Carousel, 3 Tier Christmas Pyramid Made in Germany,German pyramid with fittingsChristmaspyramide German Folk Art Christmas DecorationGerman Erzgebirge Wooden Pyramid, Candle-powered, Jesus Birth sceneChristmas Pyramid Ore Mountains, Vintage Wall and Table Pyramid by Dregeno, Carved Deer, Folk Art, GDR Ostalgia in Original Packaging
How German Christmas Pyramids WORK
And how to care for them! (Next video will be about “How to clean the wax out of the tablecloth after you stupidly splattered it while blowing out candles after making a Christmas Pyramid video”)
German Christmas Pyramids