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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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A Day-Trip for Lovers of Glass and Jewelry - Jablonec nad Nisou

Published on July 21th, 2016 in Entertainment

  • Making Glass Bead Necklaces at Home, 1947 (source: ČTK / Czech News Agency)

  • Hand coloured interior view of a glass bead pressing workshop. (source: Jablonex Heritage Archive)

  • Display card of glass necklace samples, 1920 from Jablonec region (source: www.msb-jablonec.cz)

  • Glass button, lamp work (source: www.msb-jablonec.cz)

  • Endless Story of Jewellery Exhibition (source: www.msb-jablonec.cz, photo: Jiří Jiroutek)

  • Endless Story of Jewellery Exhibition (source: www.msb-jablonec.cz, photo: Jiří Jiroutek)

 

This blog post was submitted to me by one of my most loyal ARTEL fans, Laurie Kauffman, an American who is so enchanted with Prague and the Czech Republic that she typically visits with her husband once year.

 

During her most recent trip to Prague this summer Laurie ventured to Jablonec nad Nisou, a town in North Bohemia known for its wealth of costume jewelry and glass shops that has made it somewhat of a must-visit destination for bead collectors.

 

Many thanks to Laurie for sharing her Jablonec tips in this guest blog post:

 

Economics, beauty, struggle, beads—the history of Jablonec has it all: big personalities, commercial genius, and artistic prowess. It also has WWII horrors, and communist appropriation. In short, a microcosm of the Czech Republic. And the town has been cornering the world-famous Czech glass bead market for more than 100 years!

 

Well worth the trip and easy to get to, Jablonec is only a 70-minute bus ride from Prague. Here is my recommended itinerary:

 

 

Hop a bus from Prague

 

We took the 8:30am bus from Černý Most (via Metro B). The bus stop was easy to find which is not always the case; the bus had iffy wi-fi, but it was air-conditioned and the seats were comfortable.

 

This English-friendly site [https://amsbus.cz/koupitjizdenku/?x=1986] is useful for searching schedule and buying tickets.

 

Go to the Museum of Glass and Jewelry

 

 

Left: Museum of Glass and Jewelry (source: www.zlate-mince.cz) | Right: Display card of semi-products, 1920-1940, Wilhelm Klaar, Jablonec nad Nisou (source: www.msb-jablonec.cz)

 

Visit the award-winning glass and jewelry museum for a variety of exhibitions on the history of Bohemian glass and jewelry making. Get the audio guide and read everything. This will take you a blissful 90 minutes.

 

U Muzea 398/4
www.msb-jablonec.cz/en/

 

 

Take a picnic from Prague

 

Eat a picnic lunch which you bring from Prague, or prepare to hunt for food. We wasted away while looking for somewhere to eat that was not filled with old men smoking. Finally found a hole-in-the-wall where I got a huge fresh Greek salad for about two dollars US.

 

 

Enjoying a lovely picnic (source: www.chronicallyvintage.com)

 

 

Shop for beads

 

I suggest these stores because they are warranted to sell only Czech beads (watch out—others may have Chinese-made replicas). Storekeepers spoke very limited English, though much better than my Czech, which slowed me down not at all:

 

- House of Beads, Nádražní 731/6; well-organized and high-quality selection.
 

- Bijou Nonstop, 5. května 953/50; jammed to the rafters with inexpensive beads.

 

 

 

  

Left: Bohemian Czech antique vintage Floral molded paint glass beads Necklace (source: www.etsy.com) | Right: - Vintage Czech Buttons Sample Card 1950s (source: www.etsy.com)

 

Head back to Prague for dinner

 

We took the 3pm bus back, though I would have happily stayed another two hours!

 

Laurie’s tip: Everything—bus depot, stores, town center—is within walking distance. The museum and Bijou Nonstop are both about two blocks in the opposite direction from the bus depot. House of Beads is a little farther, and uphill.

 

Karen’s tip: If you don’t happen to make it to Jablonec but still want to shop for Czech glass beads, there are several stores in Prague that will do the trick. See our post on beading in Prague here.

 

 

 

 

 

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