The UN declared 2022 the International Year of Glass. Learn more about this wonderful material and attempt to create a glass object with your own hands. You will find plenty of opportunities for this in Crystal Valley, a traditional glassmaking area in the Jizerské and Lužické mountains, where Czech crystal and glass beads were born hundreds of years ago. Take a look at our tips, you’ll be sure to have a fantastic visit.
Experience what it’s like to be a glassblower
You can learn everything about glass blowing at the Pačinek Glass factory in Kunratice u Cvikova. In the grinding shop and traditional smelter, you can observe the work of the masters of handmade production and try it out right there on the spot. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful glass garden! At the Lasvit glassworks in Lindava, where the trophies for the Tour de France winners are created, you can watch from the walkways how molten glass mass turns into something delicate and beautiful in the hands of the glass masters. If you want, you can create your own glass or vase here with the help of a blowpipe – and then refresh yourself with some home cooking offered right on the premises of the glassworks.
You might also visit the Rautis glass company in Poniklé. The local production of Christmas ornaments from blown glass beads is on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. You can see the entire production process here: the use of blowpipes, silvering, dyeing, and cutting beads, as well as assembling ornaments. In the creative workshop, you’ll get to make your own bead decoration.
In search of glass
In the oldest continuously operating glass factory in the world, Novosad a Syn in Harrachov, you can view one of the largest and most valuable glass collections in the Czech Republic. You can also watch the manual shaping of glass directly at the furnace, and with approval, you can blow your own product under expert guidance! Then – a pint of famous beer from a local brewery or relaxation at the local beer spa will be the perfect end to your day.
Think that glass and gastronomy don’t go together? At the Novotný Glass studio complex in Nový Bor, you will see they definitely do! You can find a great spot at the local glass restaurant Huť and then just go upstairs to reach the glass museum with beautiful views of the glassworks.
Make your own jewelry
In Jablonec nad Nisou, it’s worth visiting the world’s largest public collection of glass Christmas ornaments, the World of Wonders in the Museum of Glass and Bijoux, or the Museum of Bead Making, which is part of the Nisa Faktory, one of the largest manufacturers of glass beads in the region. Here you can see how beads are ground and polished, and in the modern space of creative workshops, you can make a glass mosaic picture or your very own glass jewelry.