The Christmas Pyramid in Oberursel

There may not be a Christmas market in Oberursel this year, as is the case in most towns in Germany, but there is one consolation: the Christmas Pyramid.

The pyramid was first created in 1997 and shows a nativity scene. It is situated in the middle of a roundabout and is built around a fountain. The figures were carved by a local artist, and local tradespeople look after them from year to year, before setting up the figures and the lighting in time for the Thursday before Advent, when normally the Christmas Market would open.


The Weihnachtspyramide is a German Christmas decoration which originally came from the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains).

It is usually a round, wooden form with four or more candles.  These candles produce the heat that turns the fan-shaped top, which in turn rotates the platforms on which small figures stand.

These figures often depict Christmas scenes, but may also show figures typical to the Erzgebirge such as people from the woods and the mountains.

Their shapes gives them their name – the rotating platforms are wider at the bottom than at the top, ie. a pyramid form.  However they only aquired this name at the end of the 18th century, when Napoleon invaded Egypt and the news of the pyramids there reached Germany.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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