The traditional Czech craft amidst the modern world

Will You Get to Work?

If you are interested in glass and its production, make some time for a visit to one of the glass factories. You can tour a manufacturing plant, for example, in the Rückl glass factory in Central Bohemia, where you can see the individual production stages and traditional glass making methods. The guide explains and introduces each of the individual steps in the crystal glass production, as well as the art of manual blowing, the quality control process and the craft mastery of the cutters. English and German tours are available by appointment. The tour of Ajeto in Lindava near Cvikov in North Bohemia is also interesting. There you have the opportunity to watch the hot liquid glass being transformed by glass making masters into fragile beauty while listening to the guide. And if you want, you can even try the work of the glass makers! You can shape your own glass product using the glass-blowing pipe during the glass programme called “Do It Yourself.” The Květná glass factory in Moravia will also let you peek under the veil of secrecy of the manual production of lead-free crystal glass, which they export as far as to the countries of the Persian Gulf. An English tour can be arranged by appointment.

Glass Factories with History

The Czech glass industry took off when the industrial revolution came in the nineteenth century. There were dozens of larger and smaller glass factories then. And some of them follow their historical tradition today. Czech glass has had a good name for more than 200 years. Industrially manufactured for the needs of laboratories, glass craft work, artisan or decorative glass. One of the oldest glass factories is the Květná glass factory in Moravia, in the heart of the White Carpathian Mountains, where glass has been made since 1794. The most famous of the Czech glass factories include Preciosa, known for its crystal chandeliers; Moser of Karlovy Vary with preserved manual manufacture of crystal glass, Crystalex with the protected trademark of Bohemia Crystal, as well as the North Bohemian Lasvit, which specialises in glass decorations, chandeliers and light fixtures made to order.

Museums for Glass Fans

The Glass Museum in Nový Bor in North Bohemia offers some extensive collections. The exhibition halls display glass from the Baroque period to the present. For example, they have a unique collection of Art Nouveau painted glass, which is supposed to be one of the best in the world! And if you like any of the pieces, you can buy a contemporary copy of selected exhibits in the museum shop. Another museum, the Glass Museum in Kamenický Šenov, is near Nový Bor. The permanent exposition documents the development of local engraved and cut glass since the seventeenth to the present. And the most interesting exhibit? Probably the glass chair from the nineteenth century ordered in Kamenický Šenov by the Indian maharajah from Hyderabad. Naturally, our tips must include the Glass and Jewellery Museum in North Bohemian Jablonec nad Nisou where you can enjoy extensive collections of glass, jewellery, buttons, coins, medals and plaques. Several permanent expositions will take you through the history of glass and its place in human decorations. Some exhibits are more than 3,000 years old! In short, glass has been with us since the time immemorial and it is good to know its whole story.