CHRISTMAS PYRAMIDS  from the German Christmas shop

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The German Christmas Shop

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How they work

The first typical models of turning pyramids driven by rising heat were made in the Erzgebirge mountains in the early 1800s.

Inspiration for the development could possibly go back to the 15th century. Since the 15th century there have been mines with horse powered gins an important winding engine in the Erzgeirge mountains. They were used for mining and lifting out the water from the deep shafts. The imposing buildings with vertical shafts and teams of horse or ox moving around.


Rigid frames built in the shape of a pyramid with candles on them were the models of the Christmas pyramids. They were a widely held Christmas decoration in all parts of Germany in the 18th and 19th century. Some typical examples are the Bavarian "Klausenbaum" a tree made from three bars and some apples or the "Dresdener pyramid" ( Right ) made from four bars outside and a bar in the middle.


Under these influences the first typical models of turning pyramids driven by rising heat were made in the Erzgebirge mountains. - - - Continue > >

The rising heat of the candles sets the blades in motion and the pyramid begins to turn. In a dimly lit room this congers up a fascinating play of shadows on the ceiling.

Pyramids with moveable mining scenes, were shown in the miners parade at the wedding of the Saxon crown prince in 1719. The miners were inspired by the parade and their jobs to create the pyramids themselves by hand.

Framed four or five tier high pyramids where the whole mine also the hammer mill and the water power system were shown in motion. The mines using mechanical parts and not rising heat for movement.

Silently the wings of the pyramid turn by the breath of the burning candles. Shadows dancing mysteriously on the ceiling. Figurines going round in the glowing light.

In the mountains of the Erzgebirge a native enjoys watching his pyramid.

Generation after generation having enjoyed the scene in Germany and around the world.

Below is a brief History of the Pyramid.

Christmas Pyramids are available to purchase

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