German home dazzles with 500k Christmas lights

Rolf Vogt outside the Christmas House in the German village of Calle. Photo: AAP
Rolf Vogt outside the Christmas House in the German village of Calle. Photo: AAP

Visitors from all over Germany have flocked to a small village in the country's north to watch a glaring sight: over half a million Christmas lights and flares adoring a private home.

Every year in the small hamlet of Calle - located 43 kilometres to the south of Bremen - amid placid cows, dense forests and vast corn fields, septuagenarian Rolf Vogt illuminates his house for the holiday season, starting on the first Saturday of Advent and ending on New Year's Eve.

This Christmas, he has assembled 530,000 lights, a staggering amount of bulbs, to the delight of both smartphone-holding tourists and his electric power utility.

To defray the 3,000-euro ($A4700) electricity bill for the month of December, Vogt and his family have also erected a small Christmas market selling traditional mulled wine and food, as well as a tiny merry-go-round, thus supplementing the modest income generated from the symbolic entrance fee charged to those who drop by to admire the resplendent display.

In some of the images captured by EPA, Vogt is shown holding the remote control to rule them all: a device he uses to set his home (figuratively) ablaze as soon as visitors approach.

His light bulb moment came in 1999, following a trip to the United States from which he brought back two travel bags full of Christmas lights acquired at a Wal-Mart. Since them, his collection has kept on growing.

Meanwhile, 250 km to the southwest of Calle, another private project involving Christmas lights was ablaze.

In the town of Moers, on the western banks of the Rhine, Leon Scheepers has set up a 21,000-lightbulb Yuletide extravaganza that includes overblown Santa Clauses and colossal stockings peppering the garden and courtyard.

Although smaller in scale than its northern counterpart, the Moers Christmas House too attracts its fair share of the curious driving past the luminous estate.

Looking at both examples, one thing seems as clear as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's snout: Germans definitely love their Christmas lights.