Tanvald and its parts Šumburk and Žďár stretch far up into the slopes above the valley, hemmed in by the Jizera Mountains. Tanvald was founded in the 16th century at the meeting point of two rivers, the Kamenice and Desná, originally inhabited by woodcutters. The name is originally German (Tanne = fir tree, Wald = wood).
In 1895, Tanvald was declared a townlet, becoming a town in June 1905. At the beginning of 20th century, a school, a district court and a new town hall was built.
Today, Tanvald consists of Tanvald itself, Šumburk nad Desnou, Český Šumburk and Žďár. With the population nearly seven thousand, it is a natural centre of the area and a gate to the Jizera Mountains and Krkonoše. All the year round, Tanvald is ready to offer best conditions to visitors, sports fans and tourists, both local and from abroad. From Tanvald situated at the crossroads, you can set out for a trip to the Jizera Mountains, Krkonoše or Bohemian Paradise.
Included in the Area of Tanvald is also Harrachov, one of the most important tourist centres in the Krkonoše. It consists of four (previously separated) parts – Rýžoviště, Harrachov, Nový Svět and Mýtiny. They were associated in one in 1726. Harrachov was declared a town in 1965.
Harrachov is popular due to the winter sports centre with eight ski-jumps. Four jumps are provided with artificial surface, so jumping is available even in summer. There is a giant ski-jump, from which flights more than two hundred meters are possible. The town offers cross-country skiing trails and downhill ski slopes of top parameters.
Osada Desná byla založena při říčce Bílé Desné v roce 1691 hrabětem Albrechtem Maxmiliánem Desfoursem II. a po něm byla pojmenována Desfoursdorf. Horalé jí však začali podle říčky nazývat Dessendort. Dnešní podoba města vznikla spojením několika osad, z nichž nejvýznamnější jsou Desná – dnes Desná I, Potočná – dnes Desná II, Dolní Polubný a Černá Říčka – dnes Desná III. Kromě toho zahrnuje i bývalé osady Pustiny, Merklov, Novinu, Nýčovy Domky a Souš. Městský statut získala Desná roku 1968.
The village of Kořenov was formed in 1960 by association of previously separate villages of Polubný and Příchovice, and settlements of Rejdice and Jizerka. It was named after the local part Kořenov (Wurzeldorf, wurzel = root). The first mention comes from 1577, when the first glass factory in Rejdice was founded. The village is situated at the border between the Jizera Mountain and Krkonoše. With area of 55.56 km2, it is the largest mountain village in our country.
The original settlement was spread along both banks of the Kořenovský Brook, flowing from under the Štěpánka (lookout tower), ended in the Jizera River. It was called Upper Kořenov. The lower part of the village in the valley is called Lower Kořenov. Its dominant is former Riedel's spinning factory – today the Cutisin factory. Integrated to Kořenov is Martinské Valley, named after a hermit Martin, a local healer.
The town of Velké Hamry is situated along the banks of the Kamenice River and under two adjacent hills. Included in the town were also villages of Hamrska (Velké Hamry II) and Bohdalovice. Formerly used names Hamersko (Velké Hamry II), Dolení Hamr and Hoření Hamr originate from the word "hamr" (hammer-bar mill) as they probably were there in the 13th and 14th century. The name Velké Hamry (Big Hammer-Bar Mill) has been used since 1914, when the Hoření and Dolení Hamr (Lower and Upper ones) were associated in one village, declared a townlet in 1926 then. In 1947, the villages of Bohdalovice and Svárov were added, and then, in 1968, Velké Hamry became a town with a reputation of textile tradition. The factory in Svárov was built in 1847 already.
The village under the Krkonoše Mountains, at the foot of Mikšova Hill, was founded in 1627. The first inhabitants were woodcutters, charcoal burners and smelters. Iron ore was extracted in the area between Velké Hamry and Plavy. Smelter workshops and hammer-bar mills existed here from the first half of 14th century, and many place-names are derived from their activities. In Plavy (derived from Czech "plavit" = float), the iron ore was floated, i.e. cleaned from useless components. Alternatively, the name of Plavy might originate from the weir (in Czech "splav") used for catching logs transported down from the mountain forests. Logs were travelling down the Kamenice River even at the end of 18th century. In 1854, a spinning factory of J. Liebig was put into operation. During 1908-1909, a big modern iron-concrete spinning factory of F. Brůna started. In 1921, Plavy, before associated with Držkov, became a self-governing village.
Zlatá Olešnice is one of the oldest settlements under the Krkonoše Mountains. The brook named Zlatník, flowing into the Kamenice under Navarov, divides the village in a "part of Semily" on the left bank and a "part of Navarov" on the right bank. The banks of the brook are lined with alder trees (in Czech "olše"), giving the name to the village. The settlement is first mentioned in 1033, when the first Christian chapel might be built. Associated to Zlatá Olešnice are villages of Lhotka, Stanový and Navarov.
The village used to be a part of the Navarov Manor and its history is closely connected to the history of the Navarov Tower. Local inhabitants were mostly farmers, later involved in textile and glass-making industry developing in the surrounding villages. In the course of 20th century, the population dropped down, so there are not many permanent citizens now. Most of the houses are used for recreation.
The valley of Smržovka Brook and Kamenice Rivulet has been inhabited since the first half of the 16th century, during the Jizera Mountain colonization. The first mention of Smržovka settlement comes from 1568. The original Czech name is derived from mushrooms. As the soil in the mountains is rather poor, the inhabitants had to earn their bread in another way, so crafts, and especially home weaving developed. Due to the cloth-making crafts, in the 17th and 18th century Smržovka was an important centre of textile and glass industry. In 19th century, it was an industrial centre with many factories and workshops. In 1868, it was declared a townlet, and became a town on 23rd May 1905. Today, the town boasts of rich cultural, sports and social life.
First mentioned in 1654, the village is situated at the foot of Buková Mountain. It was named after the first settler George Krezczinger (Georgthal, Jiřetín in Czech). In 1850, Jiřetín was associated to town of Smržovka, declared a self-governing village in 1992.
Today, the dominant feature of Jiřetín is an industrial centre where wooden toys and musical instruments are produced. It was founded by Johann Schowanek. The first factory was built in 1906; machines, mostly home-made, were put in operation in 1908. The company was doing well even during the world economic crisis. Johann Schowanek, an incredibly successful entrepreneur, died in 1934, at the age of 67. He was buried at the cemetery in Albrechtice, in a huge tomb with a cupola, built on order by his son.
After the World War II, the factory was renamed TOFA. Under today's brand name DETOA, not only toys but also machined wooden beads, wooden buttons, buckles and clips are produced, and Christmas decorations and ship and plane models as well.
The village was founded in 1670 and named after the landowner Albrecht Desfourse, and it was colloquially called also Lichtenberk (Light Mountain) as the first inhabitants settled throughout the hillsides of Light Mountain and Špičák Mountain first, and then spread down the valley. There were many small glass-cutting workshops, using energy of water from the brooks. The traditional old cottages located in the cuts formed by brooks flowing into the Kamenice are eyewitnesses of those times.
Josefův Důl (Joseph's Hollow) was founded in 1701 and named after Josef, the son of the owner, Karel Josef Desfourse. The place can boast a glass-making tradition. From the 17th century until 1910, there was a famous Zenkner's Glass Factory. Later the Kamenická Factory was built (still existing today), and in 1904 the company of Karl Riedel built the Maxovská Glass Factory. Today, the village is rather a recreational centre.