Crystal Valley: Vibrant new hiking trail celebrates Czech glassmaking

A two-kilometer trail featuring works by Czech glassmakers was unveiled in Brniště to kick off this year's Crystal Valley Weekend.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 14.10.2023 10:00:00 (updated on 14.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new glass-themed hiking trail was ceremoniously unveiled yesterday in Brniště, located in the Czech Republic's Liberec Region, to kick off this year's Crystal Valley Weekend, an annual festival dedicated to glassmaking in the area.

The Glass Trail (Skleněné stezky) spans about two kilometers, and serves as a vibrant tribute to the region's rich history of glassmaking while celebrating contemporary achievements of the local glass industry in the area.

Celebrated Czech glassmakers and glass companies have collaborated to create a unique experience for visitors along the Glass Trail. Notably, the trail is adorned with a chandelier designed by renowned glassmaker Bořek Šípek, which beautifully illuminates a chapel along the route.

Also among the trail's attractions is a captivating Glass Tree, a luminous installation crafted by the artisans from Pačinek Glass in nearby Kunratice u Cvikova. Pačinek Glass made a smash last year in the Netflix movie Glass Onion, starring Daniel Craig and Edward Norton, which featured dozens of hand-crafted sculptures from the company in its climactic scenes.

Additionally, the trail features special markings and interactive elements composed of vibrant beads courtesy of Precios Ornel, as well as pendants donated by Glass Metal, a company with production facilities in Brniště.

The opening of the Glass Trail launch marks the commencement of Crystal Valley Weekend, which runs through Sunday and features a number of events across Czechia's Giant Mountains, Bohemian Paradise, Jizera Mountains (on Saturday), and the Lusatian Mountains (on Sunday).

Throughout the weekend, a total of 60 glass and jewelry enterprises, studios, schools, and museums in the Liberec region will open their doors to the public, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the world of glass and craftsmanship.

Among the events, visitors can look forward to exploring normally restricted areas at the Preciosa Lighting chandelier production facility and participate in engaging light-based activities and creative workshops. The company has also unveiled a new large-format glass painting titled Guardians of the Light in Kamenický Šenov.

The Church of St. Pankrác in Jítrava has also opened its doors for the Crystal Valley Weekend. This church houses an ancient altar of the Holy Sepulcher adorned with glass, which was discovered by local deacon Michal Olekšák two years ago.

This altar, a similar counterpart to the one found in the church in nearby Kunratice near Cvikov, was likely produced in the 19th century in the glass workshop of the Zbitk family in Olomouc. These altars, made from glass material supplied by the Jablonec glassworks, were in high demand and estimated to have been produced between 1846 and 1914, reaching Catholic communities in Europe and beyond.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more