Guided Tour Nizbor Bohemian Crystal Factory

Bohemian crystal, exquisite cut-glassware, is a Czech specialty. This is obvious when walking in the centre of Prague. Virtually all souvenir shops and many specialty stores sell Bohemian crystal. Do you want to learn how this glassware is made? Join a guided tour of the Rückl glass factory in the village of Nizbor, seven kilometers west of Beroun and 40 kilometers southwest of Prague.

Bohemian crystal

Guided Tour Nizbor Bohemian Crystal Factory

During the guided tour of the Nizbor Glass Factory, you will learn all about the different stages in the production of glassware, glassblowing, polishing and engraving. The tour ends with a visit to the factory shop where a large collection of crystal glass, bowls, carafes and vases is on display. A Bohemian specialty is coloured crystal, red, green or blue, often with a gilded edge and beautifully engraved. The crystal that is produced in Nizbor is 24% lead crystal. Most of the production is destined for export.

What is Crystal

Crystal was originally made from quartz sand and potash. In the seventeenth century, the Englishman George Ravenscroft discovered that lead oxide could be used instead of potash. The result was strong glass that was suitable for making deep engravings. The disadvantage of a lead crystal decanter is that small quantiles of lead may leak and contaminate the food or beverages.

Glass or Crystal

The European Community has stipulated that glassware with at least 24% lead oxide is labelled ‘lead crystal. Products with less lead oxide are labelled crystallin or “crystal glass. Real crystal is easy to recognize; it feels soft, sparkles beautifully and has a melodious sound when you tap it. There are no air bubbles and there are no dull spots. Hold up a glass to the light. If it acts like a prism and you see a rainbow, the glass is crystal. Compare two glasses of the same size: a crystal glass will be heavier.

Tip: If you can’t go to Nizbor to buy Bohemian crystal, go to Dana Bohemia Crystal Shop, Narodni 43 in Prague.

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