The German “Schwibbogen” is a candle arch from the Erzgebirge or Ore Mountains. It’s a Christmas decoration that can be found in almost any home in that region, and is an integral part of the Erzgebirge folk art.
These artists have produced a variety of forms and motifs. In addition to the round Candle Arches, there are also Schwibbögen that are triangles.
I gave this Schwibbogen to my daughter for Christmas last year, it was a big hit. This Candle Arch can be bought here on Amazon
Candle arches or Schwibbogen are now shining again in the Ore Mountains. It is a wonderful sign! In Corona times – that’s what the people from the region want to announce with their campaign. This action is intended to send hope and confidence into the world.
An Ore Mountain resident called for the campaign via Facebook: “I have an idea: let’s put our candle arches back in the window and light up from 9 to 11 p.m. It’s time to give confidence to our neighbors, the region, Germany and the world. Let the Ore Mountains shine, “says the post, which has meanwhile been shared over 4000 times. Hundreds of Erzgebirge people took out their candle arches and put them in the window.
In the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirde), near the border to the Czech Republic, there is a tiny village name Seiffen with only 2,000 inhabitants. As a former mining town, it prides itself on being the home of the original Schwibbogen, those arched and ornate candle holders placed in the window during the darkest time of the year.
All through Advent, and during the 12 days of Christmas it is meant to celebrate a breakthrough in mining and positive events celebrated at the year’s end. This Candle Arch is a must in most southern homes in Saxony and during the winter season.
The popularity has spread beyond the Ore Mountains to many homes in other parts of Germany, and abroad.
The Candle Arches or Schwibbögen have a deep tradition in the Ore Mountains. They should reflect peace and contemplation. And that is exactly what the Ore Mountains, Germany and the world need now
In town of Seiffen, Christmas is all year round. Christmas decorations and toys have been crafted from wood for hundreds of years. When the mines dried out, making wooden ornaments like the Schwibbogen became a much needed income in the region.
Do you know the story of the famous ‘Schwibbögen’ candle arches? Schwibbogen are shown in a semicircular shape and symbolize the celestial Arch, the Sun, Moon and Stars. The electrically illuminated arches are placed in the windows of many houses, especially at Advent and Christmas.
In the body of the Arch (rarely on top) are scenic representations that are lit by candles. The artwork is mostly set up on pedestals.
The Dresdner Striezelmarkt has the largest walk-in Schwibbogen.