Skip to content
Lampadari a ruota: fascino antico e illuminazione moderna

Wheel chandeliers: ancient charm and modern lighting

This style was born in the Middle Ages, to create a lighting system suitable for large spaces. At a time when huge churches and public halls were busy, a spoked wheel chandelier ensured ample and magnificent illumination. The functional element, however, was not separated from the symbolic one: the chandeliers were also religious emblems...

The history of the wheel chandelier

The most famous examples of these sunbursts with candles affixed to them date back to the Romanesque period (11th-12th century). In reality, their presence in churches and palaces is older. The practical purpose, to illuminate every corner of the room in the best possible way, was combined with the symbolic one as early as the 9th century (800 AD), and in the zone of influence of the Byzantine Empire - particularly in Serbia. Until about 1450, chandeliers were created by casting copper , with a large diameter that accommodated many parts and decorations.

Because on a symbolic level, the chandeliers depicted the Kingdom of God , the new heavenly Jerusalem that would arrive after the day of the Last Judgment. The wheel was divine perfection and symbol of the otherworldly city walls with gates and towers (candles). In fact, the candles were often 12 or multiples of 12, recalling the prophets and apostles mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This beautiful reenactment can be seen in a famous chandelier wheel in Hildesheim Cathedral (Germany) – inspired by the chandelier of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

Other splendid Romanesque wheel chandeliers are also found in Germany, made of fire-gilded copper and decorated with silver angels and prophets, sometimes saints and soldiers in the towers. Among these, we mention the so-called Federico Barbarossa (1122-1190) chandelier in the Aachen cathedral, and the Celestial Jerusalem chandelier in Comburg, with a diameter of 5 meters!

There is certainly no shortage of other examples in the medieval period, including those under the domination of the Ottoman Arabs; up to the Renaissance period of the late Gothic (end of the fifteenth century - beginning of the sixteenth century). And in the modern era?

Wheel chandeliers from the 19th century to today

The fashion of recalling the Middle Ages in art and furnishings began in the early nineteenth century with the Romantic movement. The churches take on neo-Gothic or neo-Romanesque features, and even the chandeliers begin to take on the shape of the past.

The style of the medieval wheel chandelier is recovered, slowly replacing the candles with electric bulbs at the end of the 19th century!

You see several examples always in Germany, until recently the fashion of the wheel chandelier makes a strong comeback – albeit in other forms.

In addition to churches and monasteries, where they have reappeared since the 1990s, already in the central decades of the 20th century various chandeliers began to take the shape of the wheel in private homes. Of course, with smaller dimensions and different metallic materials compared to the structures of ecclesiastical furnishings.

A variant? The wagon wheel chandelier, usually made from old wagon wheels. An inexpensive “arte povera” style, made of steel-reinforced wood. Perfect for illuminating the common areas of homes, companies and public rooms, they do not, however, give a luxurious look like metal or crystal wheels.

The Olux collection of modern wheel chandeliers


Speaking of crystal embellishments, our line of modern chandeliers features different designs of sparkling chandelier wheels .

This wheel-shaped chandelier is perfect for a high-impact living room, entryway or stairway that needs bright lighting. It adds a touch of contemporary style to the ancient, elegant and refined shape.

The wheel allows a broad and powerful radiation , in any environment, also thanks to the faceted crystals that sparkle from the metal ring. A suspended shimmering halo, which sprinkles artificial light and also diffuses that of the sun in a delightful way.

Among the crystal wheel chandeliers, you will find truly stunning models with as many as four 1020 octagonal crystals - available in clear, with an amber, red, black or wisteria crown.

For those who want a truly contemporary touch, the wheel chandelier becomes a ceiling light with an artistic glass light diffuser . White, black or colored crystals fused into the glass can create a truly suggestive circularity.

Potrebbero interessarti anche