Czech Glassmaking Tradition Earns UNESCO Recognition as Cultural Heritage

Published: 19.12.2023 Related countries:  U.S.A. U.S.A.

Czechia has earned a spot on the esteemed UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list once again, this time securing recognition for its exceptional handmade glass production through a successful nomination.

In a nod to centuries-old craftsmanship, the Czech tradition of glassmaking has been celebrated on the global stage by securing a spot on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Dating back to medieval times, the roots of this art form run deep, with the first glass furnace in Bohemia kindled in 1376.

By the 17th century, a vibrant glass industry had taken root in the northern regions, particularly around Jablonec nad Nisou, as well as in Zlín and Vysočina. Remarkably, despite the challenges brought about by industrialization, the art of handmade glass production not only endured but flourished.

Today, a community of over 5,000 skilled artisans, including glassmakers, cutters, engravers, painters, jewelry manufacturers, and designers, continues to contribute to this timeless craft. Their meticulously crafted products are not only highly sought after but also serve as a testament to the enduring appeal of Czech handmade glass on the global stage.

Setting itself apart from other nations in the joint UNESCO nomination, Czech glass production encompasses the entire spectrum of the glassmaking process. This includes a diverse range of techniques such as grinding, blowing, engraving, painting, and the intricate art of creating winding beads.

This UNESCO recognition is not the first for the Czech glassmaking industry. In 2020, UNESCO acknowledged the cultural significance of Czech Christmas decorations crafted from blown glass beads, adding another layer to the rich tapestry of the country's cultural contributions.

With this latest accolade, Czechia now proudly boasts a total of nine entries on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The journey began in 2005 with the inclusion of the Slovakian verbuňk dance, followed by the recognition of the Hlinecko region carnival processions, falconry, the Ride of the Kings tradition, puppeteering, blueprint textile technique, glass-blown Christmas beads, and timber-rafting. Each item on this list reflects the country's diverse and enduring cultural heritage, showcasing the richness of Czechia's contributions to the world.


Presented by the team of employees of CzechTrade Austin, USA