You will find beautiful glass Christmas tree decorations in gift shops and on Christmas market stalls all over the Czech Republic. The tradition of making these dainty baubles in this country goes back to the 19th century when glass decorations first replaced apples which had been used for centuries. Now the Czech craftsmen and factories have to compete with cheap imports from China, but the quality of the Czech product is holding its own.
There is a wide range of styles to choose from. From the contemporary twist (sometimes literally) on the old designs, to ones which would not have looked out of place in a Victorian parlour. In addition to the blown balls and twisted glass, the Czechs also make decorations out of beads. I found this complex airplane in an “antik” shop on the Castle Steps in Cesky Krumlov. Most Czech antique shops will have a selection of old decorations for sale.
The majority of Czech glass decoration manufacture takes place in the mountainous north and east. This is because the mountains had the raw materials for glass manufacture: sand, water and timber for the fires. Christmas tree decorations is part of a much wider tradition of Czech glass making, which I intend to talk about in future posts.