Roof decorations

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China: Traditional roof decorations on the Imperial Palace

As roof ornaments is known sculptures , carvings , flags and other entities whose sole purpose or their secondary purpose is to provide a roof , particularly its First to decorate and embellish.

The most common place for roof decorations is the tip of the front gable . Jewelry attached there is therefore also referred to as gable jewelry .

Some of the roof decorations had and still have a religious, magical or symbolic meaning. B. Express reverence for a higher being or avert harm. Typical roof decorations on Christian churches are crosses , tower balls and weather cocks . Minarets of mosques are sometimes decorated with crescents on the rooftop. Lions and dragons are a common motif on Chinese roofs.

Often the roof decoration also serves representative purposes, especially since the baroque .

Depending on the type of building, time and region, certain motifs, shapes and types of execution prevailed.

Formerly roof decorations

In the Germanic cultural area, two boards were sometimes crossed at the intersection of the roof ridge and gable, the ends of which protruding from the roof were designed as animal heads. In the area of ​​the Saxon tribe, crossed horse heads were the predominant motif. Today, this type of roof and gable decoration is still partly cultivated in Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania .

Gothic: gable flowers

Gable dormers with gable flower

Especially since the Gothic is often found as a top end on the gable vegetable ornamental ornaments gable flower , first flower or finial be mentioned.


The use of roof decorations reached its peak in the Baroque era . Typical motifs are metal flags and balls. Elaborate motifs such as eagles , unicorns or guild signs also appear.


After roofs were made unadorned for a long time, more recently roof decorations are being used more and more in single-family homes. Depending on the location of the attachment of the roof decoration, several types can be distinguished.

Roof ridge

The most common and traditional attachment point for a roof figure is the roof ridge. Typical motifs are flags, roosters , wind direction indicators , sleepwalkers , witches , cats , owls and dragons . For reasons of weight, the figures are often made of synthetic resin and attached to the ridge tile by means of a hole . In general, for safety reasons, the figure is glued to the roof tile with synthetic resin.

Roof area

The roof ornament is attached to the sloping roof by screwing and gluing with a tile. Most often, the so-called roof slide in the form of the sleepwalker is found here .

Other positions

The gutters (for birds, cats, etc.), the ridge closure or the downpipe are suitable as fastening points for decorative elements .



Web links

Commons : Roof decorations  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Wind direction transmitter  - album with pictures, videos and audio files