If you're a lover of art and culture or just want to explore new destinations, consider adding the Glass Road to your travel bucket list. It's a journey that will take you through some of Europe's most beautiful and historic regions, all while experiencing the incredible craft of glassmaking.
Our journey started in Lauscha, located in the Thuringian Forest, before moving on to the stunning town of Eisenach. This historic town is home to one of Germany's oldest and best-known castles, the "Wartburg," and was the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. It was also where Martin Luther was exiled for ten months, during which time he translated the bible into German.
One unique feature within the town is the interactive "pipe" organs that can be found throughout the streets. These organs, known as the "Bach-Orgelmeile," are designed to resemble the pipes of a traditional organ and are playable by anyone passing by (Gisela always finds these interactive pieces very entertaining).
Eisenach is not only a town with rich cultural heritage, but it also boasts of stunning natural landscapes that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The Thuringian Forest, which surrounds the town, offers ample opportunities for hiking, and other outdoor activities. We particularly enjoyed hiking here, with its beautiful scenery, fresh air, and peaceful surroundings.
From Eisenach, we took the train to Jablonec nad Nisou, a charming town in North Bohemia, Czech Republic, famous for its glasswork. Here, you can find the famous Museum of Glass and Jewelry, which houses a well-documented and curated collection tracing the history and development of Czech glass work and costume jewelry. The museum is housed in one of the classic buildings in town and features four levels of galleries. A large contemporary gallery for exhibitions and the museum also features a permanent collection of blown glass Christmas ornaments in the lower section, which is reached by a glass staircase.
The area around Jablonec nad Nisou is also known as the "Crystal Valley '' due to its abundance of crystal and glass production. Like in Lauscha, the area has been home to glassmakers for centuries, and its natural resources - such as the silica-rich sand and the forests that provide wood for fuel - have made it an ideal location for the glass industry.
The Museum of Glass and Jewelry in Jablonec nad Nisou is just one of the many unique destinations to be discovered along Europe's Glass Road. Plus the journey doesn't end there. On Friday we will continue to Turnov and Železný Brod to experience even more glasswork and jewelry-making!