candle arches & light arches from Seiffen and the Erzgebirge

Candle arches from the Erzgebirge go back to ancient tradition - today available in classic and modern style!

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Candle arches from the Erzgebirge as a Christmas symbol of Erzgebirge folk art

A „Schwibbogen“ is a candle arch or light arch made of wood from the Erzgebirge. Candle arches are an important part of the folk art from the Erzgebirge. Candle arches from the Erzgebirge have a long tradition and their origin in this region of Germany. The illuminated arches of lights, which were placed in the windows many centuries ago, showed the miners the way home in the dark. Today, the candle arch, also known as the arch of lights, have long since become a Christmas symbol and are an integral part of every window decoration at Christmas time. The candle arches are available from us in different sizes as well as electrically, with LED or naturally illuminated according to your choice. We are also happy to make you special shapes, just let us know your wishes and we will take care of your own personal Christmas magic.

We produce candle arches with whole landscapes and handmade figures from the Erzgebirge, which are made in loving carving. Typical building replicas can be seen, Christian motifs from the Christmas story or forest and animal figures, as well as the famous church of the village Seiffen in the Erzgebirge, known for its folk art.

this is what our shop for candle arches offers

candle arches from the Erzgebirge with:

• normal lighting (usually corrugated candles, small shaft candles or pointed candles)
• LED lighting as strip or LED candle, Lumix
• wax candle lighting
• lighting with tea lights
• indirect lighting or interior lighting

Furthermore: Fast delivery and good personal advice! All candle arches are excellently packed!

candle arches from the Erzgebirge – history and significance

Schwibbogen Erzgebirge Seiffener Kirche

The candle arch has been illuminating the windows in the Erzgebirge at Christmas time for more than 250 years and is thus an integral part of the folk art from the Erzgebirge. Its name is derived from its form, which is also reflected in architecture: A candle arch or floating arch refers to a horizontal, free-standing arch between two parts of the wall. The arch is walled in such a way that a straight end results at the top. The arches are used for the statics and support of walls and can span entire streets.

The first candle arch from the Erzgebirge was built in Johanngeorgenstadt. According to tradition, the mountain blacksmith Johann Teller is said to have made the first wrought-iron candlestick of this kind around 1726.

In contrast to the architectural form, the arch shape of the candle arch from the Erzgebirge can be traced back to the mining tradition: On the "Zechenheiligabend", the miners hung their lit mine lamps on the wall in a semi-circle like the mouth hole of the tunnel for the last shift before Christmas. This custom, the so-called "Mettenschicht", is now used in to admire many show mines of the Erzgebirge again and to experience this live. Since in some earlier candle arches but also suns, moons and stars were depicted, it can be assumed that the Schwibbogen Erzgebirge mit Kirche und Baumcelestial arch could also have played a role in the symbolization.

Lichterborgen Bergmann Naturholz ErzgebirgeIf you drive through the Erzgebirge during the Christmas season, you will encounter the festive splendour of the candle arches in almost every window as well as in oversized form on market squares of towns and villages.

No matter whether you prefer candle arches from the Erzgebirge with whole landscapes and handmade figures, with typical building replicas, with Christian motifs from the Christmas story or with forest and animal figures - with us you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for. The candle arches made of loving carving are in different sizes and optionally electrically, with LED or naturally illuminated.

history of the light arch from the Erzgebirge

In addition to the first dated candle arch from 1726 (Schwibbogen, former spelling also Schwippbogen), various other candle arches from the 18th century were also found in the area around Johanngeorgenstadt. A candle arch from 1778 can still be found today in Schwibbogen Erzgebirge SeiffenJohanngeorgenstadt representing the motifs of the three sources of income of the people from the Erzgebirge at that time – the mining, the carving and lacemaking. It is assumed that this candle arch was also made by the blacksmith Johann Teller. For all candle arches found, the number of candles was different, but always odd. Consequently, exactly one candle was always positioned in the middle of the candle arch.

Even though most candle arches are made of wood today, they were often made of metal until the beginning of the 20th century.

The candle arch from the Erzgebirge owes its current fame to the "Feierobnd“ exhibition in Schwarzenberg in 1937, which was initiated by the industrialist Friedrich Emil Krauß from Schwarzenberg. As an advertising symbol, something typical from the western Erzgebirge was sought and so the candle arch of the miners of Johanngeorgenstadt was chosen. According to a new design by Paula Jordan, the master blacksmiths Max Adler and Curt Teller produced a large candle arch (approx. 7 x 4 m). For the exhibition of Schwarzenberg, a large light arch with the dimensions seven by four meters was made, which was gold-plated and provided with gas lights. This exhibition was a great success for the light arch. It then spread quickly throughout the Erzgebirge at Christmas and thus became a kind of symbol for the region.


significance of the Christmas arches from the Erzgebirge

The candle arch or arch of lights was initially an expression of the longing for light. Due to their long labour services underground, the miners saw hardly any daylight, especially in the winter time. The earlier candle arches therefore often depicted everyday scenes from mining life. Nowadays, however, the Christian Christmas story as well as the forest with its animals and the homeland are often depicted in motifs. The lighting is usually electric, optionally with LEDs or originally with wax candles. Some models also have indirect lighting. In terms of price, Original Erzgebirge candle arches differ depending on the size, the level of detail and the wood used.

The most popular motif is the candle arch „village of Seiffen“ (Seiffener Dorf) in various designs.

The candle arch is also subject to the change of time. So you will also find modern candle arches with puristic equipment or light arches 3D, which impress with special sawing. Most of the candle arches come from Seiffen.

Schwibbogen Erzgebirgecandle arches from the ErzgebirgeLichterbogen aus dem Erzgebirge online kaufen

Nowadays, many different folk art workshops of the Erzgebirge produce candle arches and light arches. If you are in Seiffen, take a look at our candle arch factory outlet Nestler and buy your candle arch from the Erzgebirge directly from the manufacturer in Seiffen. Of course, you can buy all candle arches by SEIFFEN.COM by Nestler from our factory outlet also on www.seiffen.com.

So you will find all different models from manufacturers such as Richard Glässer, Müller Kleinkunst, Albin Preißler, Knuth Neuber, Christian Ulbricht, KWO Kunstgewerbe-Werkstätten Olbernhau, or Seiffener Volkskunst eG and of course the candle arches of us „Nestler-Seiffen“ as an independent manufacturer. We will be happy to advise you further.

> To help you with questions, the most frequently asked questions are now briefly answered:

When to put a candle arch in the window?

Every year in the pre-Christmas period shortly before the 1st Advent Schwibbögen decorate the windows in the Erzgebirge. Since it is one of the most traditional Christmas decorations, the light arches also decorate homes and increasingly also outside. Just in time for the 1st Advent, the real candles or electric candles then shine and bring a homey atmosphere into every home. However, there are also candle arches that shine all year round. The artisans of the Ore Mountains increasingly offer candlestick arches, among other things, with city views, fairy tale decorations or individual equipment, which do not necessarily remind of Christmas.

When do you put away the candle arch?

This question cannot be answered unambiguously. In the past, it was often the case in the Erzgebirge that a candle arch could only remain standing until January 6 (Epiphany), but the date of Candlemas is becoming more and more common. This is February 2 and the last Christian feast in the Christmas season. It stands for the new beginning and at the latest then it is time to pack up the Christmas decorations again.

Why is a candle arch often placed at the window?

The candle arch is closely associated with mining. For the miners, it was often dark all day in the winter months, whether underground or in the morning and evening. All the more they were happy to be accompanied by the light of the candle arches at the windows on their way home. This also applies to the traditional Erzgebirge figures of angels and miners.

How many candles belong on a candle arch?

If you look at Erzgebirge light arches today, the number of lights is very different, with seven, nine, ten, eleven and twelve or more lights they are equipped. In the past, the number of lights was associated with a meaning. Thus, seven candles were the symbol of the days of creation. Eleven candles symbolized the disciples of Jesus Christ, leaving out the twelfth disciple (Judas). The most famous "Schwarzenberg candle arch" is equipped with nine candles. An odd number is often found, as this makes it easier to distribute the candles, whether real or electric.

What kind of wood is used for the candle arch?

Candle arches from the Erzgebirge are of course made with wood from the region. Here, too, it is a matter of taste. For the arch you should use a softer wood like birch or poplar, because it bends well. The bottom form is often made of beech, the wood is strong and smooths well. For fretwork plywood has proven itself.

Can you convert a candle arch to LED lighting?

Saving energy has become more important. Therefore it is quite easy to convert your candle arch with LED candles. Simply unscrew the old candles old candles and replace them with LED candles. But be careful! all candles must be replaced at once, otherwise it will not work. it will not work.

My candle arch does not light up - what can I do?

To save yourself an expensive repair, you should first check very simple things. First of all, make sure that the candle arch is connected to a working outlet. Just try another electrical appliance on that outlet. The light bulbs may also be loose in the socket due to transportation or long storage, so re-torque all the candles. Also, you can look directly by visual inspection to see if the filament is still intact. If there is a fault, replace the electric candle. With a spare candle, you can also check each candle by unscrewing and screwing them in one by one. Please note that several candles may also be damaged, so it will take several attempts.

If the entire candle arch with cottage, church, etc. does not light, the transformer may be defective, a cable break or the luster terminal has no contact with the wiring. In this case, have your candle arch repaired by a specialist. We are happy to help you.

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