Cathedral by Candlelight
January 25 to 28, 2018 | 8.00 pm to 11.00 pm, daily
During the EVI LICHTUNGEN, the Hezilo Luminaire illuminates the Cathedral for approximately 3 hours.
The Hezilo chandelier (German Heziloleuchter) was the liturgical center of the cathedral until the 19th century. Services were held under the enlightened crown. The place designated exit and destination of the major processions of the cathedral chapter on Sundays and holidays. … The Heziloluchter also acted as a legal symbol. Violations of the sovereignty of the diocese were solemnly settled under him. … The idea of the chandelier is the image of a floating city: according to the inscription, the heavenly Jerusalem as the destination of the old and new covenant, smelling of the fragrance of the virtues, populated by the saints, enlightened by God himself, the source of all light. … The type “Jerusalem chandelier” derives from the large chandelier above the Golgotha of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. For a direct reference to Jerusalem, the Hezilo chandelier also speaks of Islamic elements that can be found in its ornamentation.[de.wikipedia.com: Hezioleuchter, 15.12.2017]
The world-famous Hezilo chandelier in the Hildesheim Cathedral was actually not a candlestick. Its real purpose in the Middle Ages was to burn off donated candles. … Probably the 72 candles that the candelabra could carry were not necessarily used to illuminate the church. Rather, it was in the Middle Ages as an expression of great piety to donate candles. The self-consuming candle, in the medieval view “pure matter”, was considered to be a symbol of Christ, who sacrificed himself for the salvation of man. Candles were therefore also a sacrifice for one’s own or someone else’s salvation. They were considered treasures in those years and candle foundations could easily amount to the multiple annual income of a simple craftsman. … Bishop Hezilo has forged a more than precious “foundation bearer” with his candlestick.
… In the Middle Ages, chandeliers were part of the equipment of every major church … but its size and costly equipment probably put it above most of the long-vanished radiant chandeliers and should have caused quite a stir at the time of its creation. … The Hezilo chandelier was commissioned by Bishop Hezilo (1054-1079) for the rebuilt Hildesheim Cathedral. The first known documentary mention dates from the year 1276. He is with a diameter of over six meters and over 1,500 parts of the largest of the four Radleuchter that are still present in German-speaking countries (Barbarossa candlesticks in Aachen, Hartwig candlesticks on the Großcomburg and Azelin candlesticks in Hildesheim). The candlestick consists of twelve sections, each with a tower and gate symbolizing the “heavenly Jerusalem”. [Bistum Hildesheim: Leuchten zum Wohl des Stifters. Online 2.11.2004]