Ever since I was little and growing up in Germany, I have loved German Christmas pyramids. There is something so magical and festive when the candles are lit and the pyramid tiers spin, creating moving shadow patterns on the ceiling.
The intricate craftsmanship of the woodwork is also something that fascinates me and makes these handcrafted pyramids so special. The entire construction and look of these little candle carousels are stunning.
My German Christmas decor home tour even made it into Better Homes and Gardens Christmas issue in 2017.
My favorite German Christmas pyramids
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The authentic German pyramids come from the Erzgebirge region of Germany (ore mountains) which is famous for all its traditional German Christmas decorations.
Most German Christmas pyramids showcase nativity scenes but there are also different themes as well although they aren’t as common. In Germany, they are called Weihnachtspyramide.
What kind of different German Christmas pyramids are there?
German Christmas pyramids come in different sizes and it all depends on how many platforms and wooden figurines they have. They even come in electrical versions but I do prefer the real candles. I included some for you in case you are worried about a fire hazard.
This is like the holy grail or the unicorn of the pyramids, LOL! I haven’t seen many of them and they are super expensive.
We have a 4-tier pyramid that we got as a wedding gift 25 years ago. My parents’ neighbors drove all the way to Seiffen to pick it up for us and we have cherished it ever since.
1-tier pyramids are available in a lot of different versions and styles. Some of these smaller and more affordable German candle carousels even use a tealight instead of small taper candles.
And of course, I love the pyramid with cats. How could I not, right?
What are the right candles for a Christmas pyramid?
We make sure that we buy candles specifically made for these types of Christmas pyramids. And I have found that these Christmas pyramid carousel candles work the best for us when buying here in the USA.
One year we made the mistake of buying the wrong candles and ended up with this ugly burn spot. Thankfully I noticed it soon enough or it could have ended up in a disaster. I wonder if I could just sand this off slightly.
How to clean a Christmas pyramid?
Keeping your German Christmas candle carousel nice and clean is essential for being able to enjoy it for years to come. I’ve read that some suggest using a standard feather duster for cleaning it but I definitely prefer q-tips because you can apply more pressure without damaging the intricate little wooden carvings.
How to store a Christmas pyramid?
I store our pyramid in a large plastic container with a matching lid. I don’t think it’s airtight but I’d call it almost sealed. First I take it apart though and store the blades and candle holders in a separate ziplock bag. I also make sure that the candles are completely removed since we store our pyramid in the attic which gets hot in the summer and the wax would melt and ruin the candle holders.
I recommend storing the German Christmas pyramid in a dry warm place like an attic instead of a wet and cold basement. You don’t want to risk the wood warping which could result in the blades not spinning right anymore.
Before I place the base of the pyramid in the container, I wrap it in newspaper and bubble wrap yet too.
What to do if your Christmas pyramid isn’t spinning anymore
every now and then our pyramid stops spinning which can be very frustrating. I summed up some troubleshooting steps that have worked for us.
Check the bottom spinning plate
The metal center rod of the pyramid sits on a wooden plate that has a glass dish in it. This glass piece helps the pyramid to spin.
More than once, our pyramid stopped spinning and when I slid the wooden part out to reveal the glass piece, it was slightly off-centered like you can see below.
Here you can see what the glass piece looks like. You might even occasionally have to replace it.
Adjust the blades
It is super important to have the blades slanted at the right angle. I find myself adjusting them all the time. Plus if they are turned in the wrong way they can make the tiers spin backward which my kids always thought was very funny.
This might take several tries until you get the right angle.
Check for a draft of air?
I have noticed that whenever someone in our house opens a door while we are watching our Christmas pyramid spin, the spinning stops. This is because an air draft interrupts the warm airflow to the blades. The updraft of the warm airflow is what keeps the pyramid spinning. So keep that in mind.
Make sure you use the right candles
If the candles are the wrong type and size they can affect the way the pyramid spins or doesn’t spin. Plus it can also damage the wood as I showed you above.
Could your wood have warped over time?
As I mentioned above, it’s important to store the pyramid the right way throughout the rest of the year so the wood stays in great shape and doesn’t warp. Storing it the wrong way can definitely damage it and affect its ability to spin.
German Christmas Pyramid manufacturers
- Käthe Wohlfahrt
- Christian Ulbricht
- Hubrig Volkskunst
- Nestler, Romy Thiel
- Albin Preißler
- Müller Kleinkunst
- Knuth Neuber
- Echt Erzgebirge Holzkunst Mit Herz
- Müller Company
- Seiffener Volkskunst
- Wendt und Kuehn
Affordable inspired German Christmas pyramid replicas for sale
If you aren’t into collecting authentic handcrafted Christmas items because they are so expensive but still want the look for less then there are more affordable replicas available. Here are some of my favorites that I have found.
Also, if you are into German heritage then check out my favorite German wooden Christmas ornaments, German layered cake called Schichttorte, German Poppy Seed Streusel Crumble Cake called Mohnkuchen, natural German Christmas tree, and a German-influenced home tour.
Tschüß and enjoy your holiday season my friends.