Candelabra or candelabrum (from the Latin for candelabrum, candlestick 'or candela, candle, over French Candélabre ) are stand for candles or lamps that branch on a pedestal and a central column into several branches, thus allowing the inclusion of several light elements.


The concept of a candelabrum, even as he almost equally significant of the candelabra ( table chandelier with curved arms, since the mid-18th century ), is limited to mobile devices, while a candelabra also be a serving outdoors, for the lighting of roads and bridges lighting element can. The conceptual distinction is not uniform. For the regional word usage: In Switzerland, partly in Austria and southern Germany, the term candelabrum is also used for single-lamp street lamps.


Multi-arm chandeliers are known since antiquity, but were then fitted with oil or tallow lamps yet.

A chandelier type of historically long nachwirkender form is the seven-branched candlestick, the Menorah of the Temple from the 5th century BC, was one of the most important symbols of Judaism.

Even the Christian Middle Ages used the well-known from the biblical Temple Description Type of seven-branched candelabrum. As large Standleuchter they were placed in a prominent position in the church and are detectable since the Carolingian period. (see the main article Seven- candlestick (church) ). Floor Stand Chandelier with 2-6 arms, however, are rare in the Middle Ages, even the obligatory as an altar accessories candle holders are still consistently single tube. In contrast secular household double flame candle holders appear ( candelabras ) made ​​of bronze or brass frequently since the 15th century. In modern times, is more brass for everyday device, continue to be used for consuming bronze candlesticks modeled. The chandelier is from the 18th century to the showpiece on the festive table, it is now possible from silver and can be played around by its ornament and foliage arms swing out too well for more than two directions. Often, the arms can be detached from the shaft and replaced by a Einzeltülle. Multi-armed candlestick made ​​of porcelain or other ceramic material are even rarer than from metals, to which is added since the late Baroque still tin. In the arts and crafts of Italy, the shafts of the candelabra were often made ​​of marble.

Candelabra for street lighting, isolated more frequently since the 18th century, with the advent of gas lighting in the 19th century, since then gained a great importance for the public space. They were more forged in the early days, later rather of iron or bronze casting, especially if they were designed complex.

Schupmann candelabra in Berlin, Unter den Linden

Martin Luther candelabra from 1894 on the church square in Ilmenau

Heinrich Vogeler: Silver Table Candlesticks, 1901

Beyenburg, Modern Chandelier for 51 tea lights in the chapel " Maria Schnee "

Further meaning - a dirty word

The word " candelabrum " is also used as an insult. The origin of this usage is unclear, but presumably it is a cover-up word from the military, to avoid the similar word-initial obscene " asshole ". A similar casually concealing intermediate form is rarely used form the armhole. She means so that the dirty word idiot in the vernacular ( veiling ).