If you are looking for an original souvenir from Czechia, a piece of jewellery with Bohemian garnet is a safe bet. The fiery red mineral from a Czech jewellery workshop can be found in treasuries owned by King Charles III, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
Where to go after rain? For some garnet!The dark red mineral, considered to be the Czech national rock, has been collected in the country since the time of the Celts! You might be lucky and find a red pebble yourself. We recommend going to the Central Bohemian Mountains after some rain – it is the largest site for Bohemian garnet and minerals have been mined there since the Middle Ages; or visit the Turnov area, where Nicholas I of Russia travelled to order a collection of garnet jewellery for the Empress. Precious stones and glass have been worked in North Bohemia for centuries. The oldest worked precious stones appeared in the region six thousand years ago and the craft of gemstone cutters in the Bohemian Paradise area has been preserved to this day.
Bohemian gemstone paradiseLocal artisans who laid the foundation stone for the world-famous jewellery of Jablonec learned the art of making glass jewellery stones from Venetians masters. You can admire their work in the Bohemian Paradise Museum in Turnov. In addition, the local interactive exposition will take you on the Bohemian garnet’s journey from its birth through working to its transformation into a beautiful piece of jewellery. Or visit the Gema stone-cutting shop or the Granát Gallery to see other garnet jewellery and demonstrations of stone cutting and jewellery production in Turnov; you can even try some stone cutting in the gallery yourself. The sparkling products from Granát, d.u.v., Turnov, are also displayed in the Bohemian Garnet Museum in Prague.
A beauty admired by GoetheIf you found the jewels in the Bohemian Paradise fascinating, you will be blown away in the Regional Museum in Most. It is where you can see some of the most precious jewellery in the Czech Republic – a set of garnet jewels that belongs to Ulrika von Levetzow, the last great love of Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Experts say that the set comprising a necklace, earrings, ring, belt buckle and pair of bracelets with a total of 469 Bohemian garnets is the largest known set of Bohemian garnets in the world. And what’s more, it has the largest cut Bohemian garnet in the country.
A garnet fever! Become a garnet diggerYou won’t find such a large stone, but you might collect some small red garnet grains when visiting the Bohemian Garnet Museum in Třebenice. Visitors can try to be garnet diggers right at the museum by excavating the sand delivered from garnet deposit sites.
Seven interesting facts about Bohemian garnetDid you know that this red gem…
- has for centuries been considered the stone of pilgrims and travellers, who often wore it as a talisman?
- could be found on Noah’s ark? It was allegedly used on a lamp that helped him navigate at night.
- was worn by knights in the Middle Ages? They had garnets fitted on their weapons – not only for decoration, but especially for protection against injury.
- boosts life energy and encourages activity?
- deepens desire, courage and self-confidence?
- protects friendship and helps overcome sadness?
- heals? It is believed to help with heart disease, it regulates blood circulation and pressure, reduces infertility, maintains metabolism balance and heals wounds.