Bohemia Crystal is a well-known export of the Czech Republic. Visitors can tour a glass factory to see it being made, or simply purchase glass products at one of the glass shops in Prague. Czech glass is of excellent quality and much of it is hand-made.
Bohemia Crystal glassware contains 24% pbo (lead
gives the glass
a crystalline sparkle).
The unique design in crystal artwork and superior
product created from this magnificent glass have
made it popular around the world.
As well as traditional glass products, new, modern designs are developed by the factories and workshops to ensure Czech crystal maintains its appeal.
Hand cut crystal appears in many forms, including vases, wine
and champagne glasses, plates, fruit bowls and decanters. These beautiful items make excellent gifts.
Glass, it is believed, brings peace and coziness to
a home. A look through glass should even concentrate
Rise & Fall of Bohemia Crystal
Czech crystal dates back to the renaissance
period, and the people's desire for antique cut
At the beginning of the 17th century the first
Italian and German cutters (Lehmann, Misseriono
brothers and others) came to the court of King
Rudolf II and began to cut the natural crystal
found throughout the Czech Republic. This they
called "mountain crystal".
Next, in 1683, Michael Muller, production manager
in Janouskova glassworks near Vimperk, discovered
chalk glass similar to the natural crystal and
most Bohemian glass factories decided to use this
the beginning of the 18th century, Bohemian
Glass had a strong control over world markets.
Business centres called ” Bohemian houses”
were in the 12 biggest European cities, 38 European
ports and outside of Europe, in Baltimore, Beirut,
Cairo, Mexico, New York and Smyrna. You could
say that the houses were the first department
stores of their age.
All attempts by other countries to imitate original
Bohemia Crystal were unsuccessful until the beginning
of the 19th century, when the demand for traditional
Bohemia Crystal crashed; a new type of glass
had been discovered - English lead crystal.
Only a few Bohemian glassworks stayed afloat, the rest
were soon bankrupt. The new English glass could be melted
at lower temperatures, engraved and cut easier. Therefore
its price was much lower. Czech glassmakers simply
did not respond fast enough to the market demand for
The outlook was
bleak for Czech glassmakers until
the second half of the 19th century, when they decided
to fight back. Focusing on their strengths, they
re-established the glory of handmade
and hand cut Bohemian lead crystal.
The new initiative was a great success and the
crystal still keeps its unique appearance today.
No other glass could, and can, offer the same
Recommended glass shops in Prague:Moser Glass
and Erpet Bohemia Crystal
To learn more about Czech glass-making, visitors can take a tour to Karlovy Vary and the Moser Glassworks