The Mini Museum of Glass Nativity Scenes

Traditional glass production is characteristic for the Železný Brod area. This mainly involves the production of glass figures and lamp beads, glass beads which are made by hand over a gas burner. The KORTAN – SKLO BIŽUTERIE Company has been involved in this production since the Velvet Revolution and it opened a shop with mainly glass production in 2006.

However, this production began to be exposed to pressure from Asian competition producing similar, albeit lesser quality goods at 10-20% of Czech prices in 2010. This competition took international customers away from Czech producers and the Czech market has unfortunately not been able to make up for this shortfall.

As such, the company’s popular shop in Železný Brod is undergoing fundamental changes:

The entrepreneur Alena Kortanová will open a Mini Museum of Glass Nativity Scenes there. She will use part of the premises to display her unique collection of almost 40 glass nativity scenes and to share their beauty with the public all year round.

Glass nativity scenes are a phenomenon of Železný Brod: they first appeared there about 80 years ago and nowhere else in the world was such a wide range of figures produced, something which continues to be the case today. Alena Kortanová’s collection includes both historical nativity scenes (completely unique pieces which are no longer available as originals) and nativity scenes made by contemporary producers from Železný Brod which you can also purchase at her store. Her collection is dominated by the figures which are most typical for the Železný Brod area, but there are also nativity scenes made from solid glass, hollow glass and pressed glass, cut glass nativity scenes, bead (rocaille) nativity scenes and so on.

The Mini Museum of Glass Nativity Scenes will be installed in the area behind the shop. The shop, which will continue its operations, will not only sell glass nativity scenes made by local producers, but also figures, costume jewellery, beads and Christmas seed bead decorations from the Giant Mountains.

There will also be something for children and creative adults: they can make costume jewellery according to their own designs under expert supervision or they can make a glass angel or a typical Giant Mountains seed bead Christmas decoration.

For those who do not feel up to making something themselves, we also offer the option of having the shop staff make you a piece of costume jewellery based on your own ideas. If there is enough time, this can be done while you wait, but otherwise it will be made to order.

The shop will occasionally host presentations of glass figure production using a gas burner and visitors will also occasionally have the opportunity to try this for themselves.

The entrance fee to the Mini Museum is voluntary and there is no entrance fee to the shop.

The Mini Museum and the shop are suitable for individual tourists, for families and for smaller groups up to 10 people. It is not necessary to pre-book for these smaller groups. We do, however, recommend pre-booking for larger groups of visitors. Large groups should be divided at the venue so that one part of the group is at the museum, while the other part goes on a tour of the historical suburb of Trávníky or visits the nearby ethnographic museum in Běliště (the most beautiful timbered structure in Železný Brod). Afterwards, the parts of the group will swap. 


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