What Are the Different Types of German Pyramids
What Are the Different Types of German Pyramids
German pyramids come in a myriad of different styles, shapes, sizes, and themes. While the basic design of any German pyramid consists of a central triangular structure with a slatted fan at the top attached to a wooden dowel that allows the entire structure to rotate under the power of strategically placed candles is still intact, there are still many different variations of this design available today. German pyramids come from the Erzgebirge mountain region of northeastern Germany and are hand carved out of traditional woods that are indigenous to that region of the world. While there have been many advancements in how the German pyramids are made and work over the years, they are all still made using the traditional hand carved methods that have been handed down over the decades from generation to generation.
The original German pyramid design consists of a pyramid shaped structure with three rotating tiers inside. Candles are placed at the foot of each corner of the base of the German pyramid allowing the heat that is generated by the candles when lit to spin the wooden fan around and causing the circular disks in the middle to rotate the tiers inside. Little hand carved wooden figurines are displayed on each tier of the German pyramid and each one usually tells a different part of a religious story as you move your way up each tier of the spinning disks inside. These original German pyramid designs are more simplistic than many of the styles that have come after them, but they are just as beautiful as some of the more complicated designs that can be found today.
The arch style German pyramid is made using a two-sided arch structure rather than the traditional four-sided pyramid structure to hold up the spinning fan at the top. This design of German pyramid usually uses a simple, thin piece of wood that is curved into the shape of an arch and has one or two platforms inside. The two-sided arch opens up the German pyramid inside, allowing a more unobstructed view of the carved figurines inside as they spin. These arch style German pyramids are generally shorter in height due to the lack of structural support that is necessary to hold up taller German pyramids.
The A-frame style of German pyramid is similar in design to the arch style, but it does give the design a bit more stability using wider pieces of wood to create the pointed roof-top design. Similar to the shape of many Bavarian homes seen in the German alps, the A-frame German pyramid design can be quite simple in nature or take the shape of a house, church, barn, or beerhouse, which are all typical sights seen in many German villages. The A-frame German pyramid often forms the shape of the Advent calendar with multiple windows that can be opened over the weeks before Christmas Eve.
The infinity or multi-tiered German pyramids are usually the most complicated and intricately designed pyramids that are available today. These German pyramids are stacked one tier on top of the other like a giant wedding cake. Because of the solid design of this type of structure, infinity German pyramids are generally some of the tallest and most elaborately designs pyramids you will find. Typical infinity German pyramids come in three, four, or five tiers and stand about two feet tall, but there have been infinity pyramids that stand as tall as a man or even as tall as a building. In fact, the tallest multi-tiered German pyramid is assembled each year in the Christkindl Market in Dresden, Germany. It stands 45 feet tall, has five rotating tiers, and is decorated with life-sized wooden figurines.
When it comes to powering these handcrafted German pyramids, candle power has always been the mainstay. Due to the lightweight design of the spinning fan and pyramid shape of the German pyramid, most only require the heat from two to eight candles each. However, with the typical technological advancements that affect every aspect of our modern lives, you can now find electric or battery powered German pyramids that require no candles at all. Can you imagine? While traditionalists may scoff at the idea of using a German pyramid without any candles at all, they are certainly safer and more convenient in many ways, but somehow the idea of an electric powered German pyramid just takes something away from the uniqueness of the design…but to each his own!
For most German pyramid designs, the theme is usually religious in nature. From the Nativity Story to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, religious stories from the Bible have always been the most popular themes in German pyramid designs. In fact, German pyramids were originally used to teach children tales from the Bible by bringing the stories to life inside the spinning pyramid as they relayed the stories each Christmas. Today, however, German pyramid designs come in a variety of different themes, such as those relating to nature, wildlife, life in a typical German village, and even include the story of Santa Claus. No matter what story the German pyramid tells, however, they are all made with the same level of expertise and handcrafted with love by skilled craftsmen who have been making German arts and crafts for generations.