You’ll find Bohemian glass, china and crystal shops spread all around the city centre. The most popular place to start looking is around Wenceslas Square, Na Příkopě and Celetná and close to the Charles Bridge. The two top producers are Moser and Egermann, for more contemporary styles, Artěl.
Old Town Square 27; tel: 224 229 755; www.erpetcrystal.cz; daily 10am-11pm; metro: Staroměstská; A wide range of top-notch crystal from a variety of manufacturers.
Old Town Square 15; tel: 221 890 891; www.moser-glass.com; Mon-Fri 10 am-8 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-7 pm; metro: Staroměstská; The elegantly appointed flagship store of some of the best, most expensive Czech glassware.
U Lužického Semináře 7; tel: 251 554 008; www.artelglass.com; metro: Malostranská; Open daily 10:00 – 19:00. Artěl is no ordinary luxury crystal company; they present a striking collection that flaunts hand-crafted finesse in subtle, sophisticated rainbow hues, bold graphic design and contemporary shapes.
The design maxim »form follows function« has been turned on its head here: a porcelain boot becomes a vase, a Baroque clock features a digital display, curiosities abound. Address: Old Town, Rámová 3; Open: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; www.qubus.cz
Step back into the reign of mad Emperor Rudolf II, the Imperial Kunstkamera of Peter the Great. Kunstkomora offers a collection of art, antiques and curiosities from every corner of the world spanning more than two thousand years. Address: Laser Quarter, Lázeňská 9; www.kunstkomora.cz
Český Porcelain (Czech Blue Onion Porcelain)
The unique pattern used on this porcelain has been labelled as a blue onion pattern. It originates from stylized plant motifs on an East Asian-style background; however, it is adapted to the European style and concept. The common name “onion pattern” has its origins in the faulty interpretation of one motif of the pattern—the depiction of a pomegranate, which by its shape, distantly reminds one of an onion. Despite this, the concept of “cibulák” is a symbol of delicate beauty, a symbol of the combination of usefulness and being pleasing to the eye, a symbol of uniqueness and worldliness.
Easily noticeable by the “onion-print” design, Bohemian porcelain comes in many shapes and sizes. This shop offers a massive selection and also has some textiles to buy as well. The address is Perlová 1, Old Town and the closest Metro station is Můstek. It’s open from 9 am-6 pm, Monday-Friday, and the website is www.cesky.porcelan.cz.
This unique crystal glassworks is connected to a 300-year-long tradition in glass-making as a family. The glass-making family Rückl came to Bohemia at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, most probably from what is now Switzerland. Leaving Italy, they went through Switzerland and Bavaria into Šumava and then on into eastern and northern Bohemia. The glassworks in Nižbor manufactures an extensive range of cut 24% leaded crystal in a wide variety of decorations from the simple to extremely complex and laborious decorations, with gilt, hand-painting and sandblasting. The company was chosen for the production and supply of official state gifts due to the very high quality and services. It is possible to walk around the firm’s glassworks in Nižbor near Beroun, where you can see all stages of how the glass is made. Website: www.ruckl.cz
One of the oldest Czech china works was founded in Klasterec nad Ohri as long ago as 1794. It gradually established its renown on the perfect modelling and exceptional artistic working of china services, known as Thun Porcelain. The present production of the Klasterec china works is following up this rich tradition. The main item on the production programme continues to be household china in dinner, coffee, tea and other services. 738 employees look after the annual production of 3804 tons of china. The factory has its own traditional customers in the Czech market and in more than forty other countries around the world.
Keramika V Ungeltu
This is a shop for mothers and children alike. Mothers will love the ceramics found here – many of which display the traditional “onion” design” – while kids will love looking at the wooden toys this shop sells. The address is Týn 7, Old Town, and it’s open from 10 am-8 pm every day.
This is a shop selling replicas of glasses from different eras, such as the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rudolf II and Charles IV eras. You’ll also find it’s a great place to get a souvenir at a very reasonable price. The shop is located at U Lužického semináře 22, Lesser Town, and the closest Metro station is Malostranská. It’s open every day from 11 am until 8 pm, although in the winter it shuts at 5 pm instead.
Tours – Czech Glass and Crystal
You can visit five Czech glass or crystal factories close to Prague, and the best idea is to pre-book a group tour rather than go on your own. The two closest to Prague are in Beroun, Mladá Boleslav and Poděbrady, while the most famous Moser factory is located a bit farther away in Karlovy Vary. Usually, you can buy Czech glass cheaper in Karlovy Vary or in some factories, rather than in Prague.