The story of bohemian glass

published by Lasvit

Path of light • Renaissance



Renaissance came to gothic Prague relatively late. The key year was 1526, when the Bohemian lands were included within the Habsburg Empire and subsequently a tragic fire in 1541 damaged Malá Strana, the Hradčany area around the Prague Castle and even the castle itself. The burnt-out properties were bought by the aristocracy and gave way to a wide range of Renaissance palaces and other monuments. Prague unexpectedly became the center of Renaissance life in 1583, when Roman Emperor Rudolf II, King of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia, moved his court from Vienna to Prague. Rudolf II was not a particularly apt ruler, but he hosted many artists, scientists, alchemists, astronomers and astrologers at his court. Among them were the Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, German Jan Kepler and the fraudulent English alchemist Edward Kelley. Rudolf II was also a great collector of artworks, which he imported to Prague from all over Europe, including paintings by Leonardo DaVinci, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Pieter Brueghel.



The Glassmaker Aristocrats

Dozens of glassworks were built in Bohemia during the 16th century, becoming the foundation for the later worldwide triumph of Bohemian glass. The business success of some of the kiln-masters reflected in their elevated social prestige. In 1530, Paul Schürer, originally from the Saxon side of the Ore Mountains, built his glassworks in Falknov, near Nový Bor. By 1592, his offspring were already active across Bohemia and promoted to hereditary knighthood, becoming the Schürers von Waldheim. The glassmaking dynasty of Wanders is exclusively tied to the Jizera Mountains, having their coat-of-arms since 1599.


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The Celts

The heritage of Celtic tribes in Europe.


The Period of the Reign of Charles IV

The most significant ruler in the history of Bohemia.


Hussite Wars

Reform in the Catholic Church and the fight for religious truth.



The arrival of Renaissance into gothic Prague.


Bohemian Baroque

The remarkable imprint of Baroque in the Bohemian lands.


Bohemian Lands in the 18th Century

The transformation of feudal empire into a centralized state.


The Napoleonic Wars

One man’s grand ambitions of overtaking the whole of Europe.


The Birth of Czechoslovakia

After more than three hundred years, Czechs and Slovaks get the nation-state.


Socialist Czechoslovakia

The political influence of the Soviet Union after WWII.


The Velvet Revolution

The postcommunist era and the split of Czechoslovakia.




The arrival of Renaissance into gothic Prague.


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