Unique Handmade Production in the UNESCO Heritage List
The production of Christmas tree decorations from blown glass beads in Ponikla has more than 100 years of tradition. Glass beads were originally used for jewellery but when the habit of decorating a Christmas tree arose at the end of the 19th century, the poor glassmakers began to put beads on thin wires to make miniature models of things they saw around them. This gave rise to the creation of, for instance, bead baskets, fans, kettles, aeroplanes, locomotives, prams or spiders, and of course also stars. The whole production, i.e., blowing beads into moulds, silver coating, colouring, cutting and assembly of decorations, is still done manually today.
In 2020, the handmade production of Christmas tree decorations from blown glass beads was entered in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Tours of the Production Rooms
Over time, the village of Ponikla has become the centre of production of Christmas tree decorations from blown glass beads. The company Rautis continues the more than 100 years of tradition and is still producing the decorations.
If you are interested to see how they are made, you can come to Ponikla for a tour. The old beauty of the decorations will enchant you. You are welcome to see the whole process, from bead blowing from glass tubes in a mould, through silver coating, colouring and cutting, to the assembly of the decorations. The tour also includes the exhibition of Silver Beads in Folk Costumes.
Decorations are available at competitive prices in the company shop, where you can also see the new collections of 3-D stars. If you want to try to do some creative work at home, you can buy the materials or hobby sets, which are kits for a specific decoration with all the necessary materials and instructions. You can also make your own decorations in the company’s creative workshop under the guidance of experienced tutors.
The company reconstructed its shop and creative workshop rooms in 2018. The ‘Nad veci’ café-and-shop was inaugurated, and a children’s playground with water elements was built.
Did you know that the Krkonose Mountains are part of the so-called Crystal Valley? It is a 70 km long line between mountain massifs, a unique legacy, a place where unique nature meets a passion for the glassmaking tradition and craft. Two places in our highest mountains are linked to the tradition: The glassworks in Harrachov and Rautis in Ponikla.