The Schwibbogen - The twentieth door

Schwibbogen or Lichterbogen is the German word for candle arches.
The first candle arch was made in the 18th century - I found different years and can't say which is the right one - by a blacksmith named Johann Teller. Teller worked in the Ore Mountains making equipment and hardware for the mines. 
The candle arch was inspired by the pit hole entry and made for the "Mettenschicht" which is an old miners' tradition, the last shift before Christmas which ended early with a meal and a celebration.

Early candle arches were made from wrought iron, but wood became more and more popular from the beginning of the 20th century.
Over the years designs changed as well. One of the most famous designs was created by Paula Jordan in 1937, it showed the main sources of income for the people living in the Ore Mountains and traditional symbols.
Nowadays you'll find anything from the traditional design to cities or forest scenes and you'll find all sizes, too!
You can also find patterns to make your own candle arches.

A friend of mine was so nice to allow me to post a few pictures of candle arches that her husband and his father made.

This is my favorite made by my friend's husband. Isn't it beautiful?

Made by my friend's father-in-law after the Paula Jordan design. As you can see, there are miners, a bobbin lace maker, and a wood carver.

A 3D candle arch with indirect lighting between the two layers of wood, made by my friend's husband.


  1. Lovely I have a little wooden candle that turns with the heat of the candles. I bring in out every Christmas eve

    1. How sweet ^^ That's another tradition that I may be covering next year.
      Have you ever seen the real big pyramids with the turning candles? So impressive!

  2. I have never heard of these candle arches before. They are wonderful! What a great tradition.

    1. We never had one in my family, so it was interesting for me to research the history behind them as far as possible.
      There are so many designs for them now, even huge ones in some cities!

  3. Oooh, I love the candle arches. What beautiful craftsmanship.