Elaborate Christmas light displays are not as common in Germany as they are in the United States, but when Rolf Vogt visited the U.S. with his son in 1999, he was inspired to bring some of that Christmas cheer back to his hometown of Calle, Germany with a dazzling display that is now made up of more than 400,000 lights.
Vogt’s “Christmas House”, as it has now become known as, started off small when he brought back two travel bags full of lights from Walmart in 1999, but was a hit in just the first year. Each year the display has gotten even more elaborate, and while he lost count, Vogt estimates the number of lights to be anywhere from 400,000 to 450,000.
Putting on a display that large comes with a price though. During the short late-November to late-December run, the lights cost the Vogt family several thousand euros to keep the house aglow. And while visitors aren’t expected to pay anything for the Christmas spectacle, Rolf Vogt recoups some of the cost by selling wine and sausage to spectators.