Otto Zern Berchtesgaden Germany

Handcrafted perfection in lighting and design


"He who yearns for light is not without light, as the yearning is light in itself."

Bettina Arnim




The Otto Zern Company


Almost 100 years ago company founder Otto Zern learned the art of wrought-iron craftsmanship in Saxony and took to the handcrafting road after passing his examination to become a master craftsman. His years of travelling led the young locksmith to Berchtesgaden. Berchtesgaden, in the southernmost part of Bavaria, not far from the cultural city of Salzburg, has inspired European poets, painters and thinkers for hundreds of years. In 1928 Otto Zern founded his locksmith’s shop in the idyllic town of Berchtesgaden, amidst a magnificently inspiring natural setting.


wrought-iron craftsmanship in berchtesgaden


Specialised lamp design
At the beginning of the 1930s Otto Zern developed lamps according to architectural designs and also began to create his own specialised lamp designs. The father passed this knowledge on to the son and the latter then passed that same knowledge on to his own son. Otto Zern Lamps has an archive of lamp designs from various epochs.


Eduard, Anna, Otto, Karl Zern

Eduard, Anna, Otto, Karl Zern


Three generations
of wrought-iron craftsmen. In the mid 1970s son Karl Zern took over the company and made a reputable name for it far beyond the borders, throughout the entire world in fact. In the meantime the third generation, in the shape of Thomas K. Zern, is now successfully running the business.


Fusion of the traditional with the modern
That which Otto Zern began, i.e. the combination and enhancement of tried and trusted wrought-iron craftsmanship with new techniques and forms, Karl Zern has continued. With a traditional mode of work, modern workplaces and love of detail Karl Zern has managed to make a reputable name for an established operation beyond the borders. Thomas K. Zern, the youngest master wrought-iron craftsman in Bavaria, regional champion in wrought-iron craftsmanship in Bavaria and third place in the national championship, has perfected the wrought-iron individually customised models, and works with a team of designers, glass artists and electro-technicians to design and implement high-quality lamps and specialised lamp designs.




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Pictures made by Georg Grainer Fotografie



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