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or without the past there would be no present


In the 19th and 20th century, the local region was rightfully considered to be one of the most industrialised areas in the Republic. The main industries were the glass and textile industries, while the engineering industry also did not lag far behind. This period is now recalled by a number of empty factories which are frequently gems of industrial architecture.

The glory of Jizera Mountain glass production was based on the abundant forests in the Jizera Mountains

Wood was available as a raw material and it was used as fuel in the glass kilns. The first historically substantiated mention of a glassworks in Sklenařice dates from as early as 1376. The Zenkner Glassworks started its operations in Josefův Důl in 1687. The second oldest functioning glassworks in Bohemia is located in Harrachov. It was established prior to 1712 and it has preserved its traditional hand-made production methods to this day. You can see this for yourself during an excursion through the glassworks. The tour also includes a mini-brewery where wheat beer is brewed.

ded011. The Museum of Glass in Harrachov

is part of the Novosad & syn glassworks. The former Manor House contains a complete collection of the production from the Harrachov glassworks. Tel.: 481 528 141, fax: 481 528 148, www.sklarnaharrachov.cz

The same building also contains a Ski Museum where it is possible to see skis which are more than one hundred years old and ski jumping equipment from the 1950s. www.harrachov.cz

Glass production developed in Smržovka in the 17th and 18th century. A glassworks under the leadership of Josef Riedel prospered in Desná in the 1st half of the 19th century, while Franz Riedel built a glassworks in the Jizerka mountain settlement in 1827. Josef Riedel also built a further glassworks in 1867 which still stands at Jizerka (it now serves as a sports hall). The glassworks in Josefův Důl - Dolní Maxov was built in 1879 for Josef Riedel. The building still stands, but it is dilapidated.

2. The Museum of Local History in Desná – the Riedel Villa

recalls the "golden era" of the local glass industry. It was built in 1895 along the lines of Northern Italian structures. It was built by the glassmaking magnate Josef Riedel jnr.. As well as a museum, it also houses the town library and the cultural and information centre. Tel.: 4830383 019, www.mesto-desna.cz

Water served as a suitable energy source for the development of the textile industry

Headraces were built in the region in order to establish drive systems for the glass and textile machines in factories and water also played a significant role in small hydroelectric power plants.

The first machine-driven cotton mill was built in Tanvald in 1828. Work began in the mechanical spinning mill in 1845, while work began in the first spinning mill in Smržovka in 1836. The first factories for the production of woollen, linen and cotton textiles were built in the territory of Desná around the year 1840. The Velké Hamry–Svárov factory, which later became famous for its strikes, commenced its operations in 1845, while another factory opened in Plavy in 1855. The glass magnate Josef Riedel also gave people in Šumburk nad Desnou work in a textile company which opened in 1857, while he also built a cotton mill in Kořenov in 1864. Flax was also spun in Josefův Důl - Dolní Maxov from 1864. Josef Riedel purchased the building six years later and he began to successfully weave hemp string and ropes there.

In the 2nd half of the 19th century, the majority of the cotton production in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was concentrated in the small territory of the valley of the Kamenice and Desná Rivers.

Many techniques for decorating textiles and working with textile fibres have been preserved in folk culture (and not just there). Examples of these products can be found in the ethnographic exhibitions at almost all the local history museums in our region. The same also applies to glass products from both older and more recent periods.

ded033. The Museum of Local History in Smržovka

in the Château on T. G. Masaryk Square documents the historical development of the town and recalls the local industry (glassmaking and textile production) and significant personalities of the town.

Tel.: 483 369 325, www.smrzovka.cz

ded044. The Local History Museum in the Jizerka Settlement

The Old Face of the Jizera Mountains exhibition in the old school acquaints visitors to the museum with the history of glassmaking, small bird hunting and the mining of various minerals. Tel.: 482 771 676, www.csopjizerka.cz

5. The Local History Museum in Josefův Důl

acquaints visitors with the history of the municipalities of Josefův Důl, Antonínov, Dolní Maxov and Karlov and it includes period artefacts which demonstrate that people worked in the glass and textile industries and in wood processing. Tel.: 483 381 110, 483 381 096, www.josefuvdul.cz

ded066. The Local History Museum in Jiřetín pod Bukovou in the Schowanek Villa

offers a tour through a natural history exhibition and an exhibition of crafts focussing on carpentry and joinery products. The Ski Museum includes an extensive collection documenting the beginnings of skiing in Bohemia and other period exhibits associated with the history of winter sports.

Tel.: 483 381 687, www.vila-schowanek.cz

The railway contributed significantly to the development of industry

Tanvald railway station received cotton from Egypt, minerals from Silesia and coal from Prussia.

The railway line from Železný Brod to Tanvald was built in 1870-75, while the line from Liberec to Tanvald was completed in 1894. The line was extended from Tanvald to Kořenov in 1902. This section of the "Tanvald – Kořenov rack-and-pinion railway" is a significant regional technical monument.

ded077. The rack-and-pinion railway

It is the steepest and only rack-and-pinion railway in the Czech Republic and it overcomes a height difference of 235 metres within seven kilometres. Five viaducts and the same number of tunnels had to be built to complete the line in 1899-1902. The longest tunnel, known as the Polubny Tunnel, is the longest single track tunnel in the Czech Republic at 940 metres. Only 12 km of the original 59 km of the Austro-Prussian connection between Tanvald and Polish Szklarska Poręba have been preserved.

In 1992, the Tanvald-Kořenov-Harrachov rack-and-pinion railway and its associated buildings were declared a cultural monument by the Ministry of Culture and its "nostalgic journeys" have become a popular attraction.


8. The Rack-and-Pinion Railway Museum in Kořenov

in the railway station building mainly attracts visitors who are interested in the Tanvald–Kořenov rack-and-pinion railway, its history, the peculiarities of its operations and the vehicles used on the line.

Tel.: 724 820 126, www.zubacka.cz

ded099. The viaduct in Smržovka

A viaduct was built in Smržovka in 1894 in order for the railway line to be able to continue from Liberec to Tanvald. Experienced tunnel and bridge makers from Italy participated in its construction. Nowadays it is a structural-technical monument.



10. The evangelical church in Kromnow – nowadays the Artystyczna Galeria Izerska Art Gallery

The evangelical church in Kromnow was built in 1802 and is still standing. Sources show, however, that it was built on the foundations of a wooden structure with a framework dating to 1744. This was not permanent, however, and the local evangelical parish therefore decided to build something more permanent half a century later.

The church served the faithful until the 2nd World War, but post-war events meant that the German population of the evangelical faith had to leave Lower Silesia and the area was subsequently settled by Poles from various parts of Poland and the world. They were mostly catholic. As such, the protestant church ceased to fulfil its ecclesiastical function and it was forgotten. From that time it fell into increasing disrepair.

The revitalisation of the evangelical church in Kromnow saw the establishment of a tourist product which nowadays – as the Jizera Mountains Art Gallery (Artystyczna Galeria Izerska) – attracts people with an interest in history and lovers of sacred architecture and all kinds of art. This place is also a good starting point for hiking in the Jizera Mountains. Active relaxation both on the hiking trails and off them can be connected with getting to know art.

11. The stained glass window workshop in the village of Antoniów

The ANTONIÓW stained glass window workshop has been in operation in Lower Silesia, near Jelenia Góra and Szklarska Poręba in the village of Antoniów, in the picturesque environment of the Jizera Mountains since 1990. It is a family workshop. It provides inspiration and gives rise to unrepeatable projects. Its stained glass windows and lamps can be found in many corners of Poland and the world, for example in Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United States and Israel.

Beata Chlebowska and Marcin Chlebowski
Antoniów 17
58–512 Stara Kamienica
Tel. +48757543740
Mobile phone +48530567815, +48609705557
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