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Where the forest glasshouses from the past meet the Waldviertel glassworks of today


Since the Middle Ages, numerous cottage factories designated for the production of glass have existed in the Waldviertel and South Bohemia - known as glasshouses. The oldest glasshouse in the Waldviertel dates back to 1371. The forests contained large quantities of wood that could be used for the heating of ovens and for the production of potash. Streams and quarries contained the basic materials sand and quartz. The local sand gives the ‘forest glass’ a green tint.

Glass has been blown at the location of Alt-Nagelberg since 1725. Important influences came from Bohemia. The 18th century was the heyday of ‘Bohemian glass,’ which today is inexpensive and colourless. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were in total 120 glasshouses in the Waldviertel. In 1852 Carl Stölzle arrived from nearby Nové Hrady/Gratzen, bought glasshouses, modernized production, and introduced new technologies. The locations of Alt-Nagelberg and Neu-Nagelberg became the centrepieces of his business concern, which after 1918 found itself straddling two countries due to the new borders. After several attempts at reorganization, the company seat was moved to the Styrian town of Köflach.

In 1988 the location of Alt-Nagelberg was completely abandoned. Today drinking glasses, vases, and hand-blown wine glasses with immaculate finishing are produced in the glasshouses of Brand-Nagelberg. The glasshouses welcome visitors, and in one of them it is even possible to try out glass-blowing

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