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Wonderful world of glass - glass museums in Bavaria

Be enchanted by the wondrous play of light of this unique material. With its unrivalled versatility and technical possibilities, glass in its many forms has made countless cultural and scientific advances possible, which are wondrously visible in the museums.

Kunstsammlungen of the Veste Coburg (Art Collections of the Coburg Fortress) (Upper Franconia)

Historisches Glasgefäß mit aufwendigen Verzierungen
© - Florian Trykowski
Blick in den Ausstellungsraum mit großen Glasvitrinen, in denen die gläsernen Exponate präsentiert werden
© - Florian Trykowski
Blick in die Burganlage der Veste Coburg
© - Florian Trykowski
Außenansicht der Veste Coburg mit auffallend unterschiedlichen Dachkonstruktionen
© - Florian Trykowski
Mit Efeu bewachsene Burgmauer der Veste Coburg
© - Florian Trykowski

The glass collection in the romantic castle grounds of the Veste Coburg is one of the most important of its kind in Europe. Here you can discover over 1000 years of the development of artistically designed glass in a princely setting.
At special media stations, you can find out more about glass production and the exhibited objects at your leisure: Many glasses tell stories that come to life through inscriptions, pictures and historical records.
Among these exhibits is a very special glass treasure: the Hedwig glass (in the picture gallery below left), which is a good 1000 years old. It was once venerated as the glass of St Elisabeth. There is evidence that it was also owned by Martin Luther and is now the centrepiece of the diverse collection.

Europäisches Museum für Modernes Glas (European Museum of Modern Glass) Rödental (Upper Franconia)

Blick in den Ausstellungsraum mit schillernden futuristischen Glasobjekten
© Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Ungewöhnliche Glasschale mit pelzartiger Oberfläche
© Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Ein Rehkitz aus Chrome auf einem Plattenspieler
© Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Eine weiße Jacke, die mit durchsichtigen Glasstäbchen besetzt ist
© Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg

What a wealth of shapes, colours and ideas - glass in all its facets is at home here! The light-flooded museum building in the Rosenau castle park in Rödental presents the whole wealth of modern glass art and at the same time allows visitors to experience the development and production of this centuries-old craft.
It is astonishing to see what this fragile material is capable of - from artistically designed utility glass to sculptures and expansive installations.
In addition to works that have been presented at the Coburg Glass Awards, the thematic focus of the collection is on the development of studio glass up to the present day. This originated in America in 1962 and basically refers to the production of glass in one's own studio using a small, mobile kiln.
At events in the in-house lamp glass studio, you can see glass artists at work and try your hand at creating glass beads yourself.

Glasmuseum Frauenau (Frauenau Glass Museum) (Lower Bavaria)

Außenansicht des Museum mit großflächiger Glasfassade und Glasobjekten im Vordergrund
© Tom Wundrak

The "Glass Heart of the Bavarian Forest" is the name given to the municipality of Frauenau due to its centuries-old creative glassmaking tradition. Crystal clear - an eye-catcher! The Glasmuseum Frauenau (Frauenau Glass Museum) not only impresses with its presentation of outstanding glass exhibits of international standing, but also with its architectural language and the staging of the collection.
The generous glass façade provides a clear view of the exhibition and communicates to the outside world what visitors can expect inside - namely the cultural history of glass from its beginnings to modern glass of the 20th and 21st centuries.

European Flacon Glass Museum Kleintettau (Upper Franconia)

Flakonglas in Form eines Apfels
© Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (EFGM), Sandro Welsch
Flakongläser der Marke Chanel
© Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (EFGM), Sandro Welsch
Flakongläser in Form von Regenschirmen
© Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (EFGM), Sandro Welsch
Flakonglas der Marke Heliotrope
© Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (EFGM), Sandro Welsch
Flakonglas der Marke Desdemona
© Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (EFGM), Sandro Welsch

A perfume is a work of art and the object in which it is contained must be a masterpiece.

Robert Ricci (1905-1988)

The Europäisches Flakonglasmuseum (European Flacon Glass Museum) shows the very special and 5000-year-old combination of glass and valuable fragrance essences. The excursion into the history of glass production comes to an end on the visitors' platform, which offers a view of the fully automated flacon production of a glass manufacturer. But what would a bottle be without its contents? The exhibition also sheds light on fragrance and care culture from antiquity to the present day, culminating in a sensory experience in a fragrance room. Finally, "Perfume Flacons - A Journey through the 20th Century" shows over 1000 of the approximately 2500 flacons in the Beatrice Frankl collection and thus provides an insight into the wealth and complexity of the art of perfumery and glassmaking from 1920 to 1990.

Glasmuseum Passau (Glass Museum Passau) (Lower Bavaria)

Aufgereihte kostbare Glasgefäße
© Glasmuseum Passau
Glasgefäße in Orange, die an den Seiten eingedrückt sind
© Glasmuseum Passau
Blaue Glasgefäße, die mit weißen Blümchen verziert sind
© Glasmuseum Passau

It shines, glitters and sparkles in white, green, blue, yellow... All kinds of marvellous pieces come together in the "most beautiful glass house in the world" (Friedrich Dürenmatt). Glasmuseum Passau (Glass Museum Passau) is home to the world's largest collection of European glass and thus offers a unique overview of four centuries of glass history in Europe.
The collection buildings themselves are also steeped in history, revealing many a surprise: four stately patrician houses, including the former municipal court and the traditional "Wilder Mann" hotel, in which - even if it seems rather incidental in view of the wealth of exhibits - Empress Sisi once spent the night.
The energy-intensive production of glass traditionally relied on wood as fuel. This is why glassworks are often concentrated in certain geographical locations, such as in the densely wooded low mountain ranges.

Waldmuseum Zwiesel (Forest Museum Zwiesel) (Lower Bavaria)

Bunte Schnupftabakgläser in einer Vitrine
© Waldmuseum Zwiesel - Jim MacAnderson
Große schmale Vitrinen mit verschiedenen Glasexponaten
© Waldmuseum Zwiesel - Jim MacAnderson
Bunte Glasgefäße in Regalen aufgereiht
© Jim MacAnderson - Waldmuseum Zwiesel

Experience deep primeval forests and wild animals in Bavaria! The Waldmuseum Zwiesel (Forest Museum Zwiesel) shows the way and takes you on a journey through the Bavarian Forest. A comprehensive presentation of the history of nature and glass and their respective interactions is offered in an entertaining way.
In addition to the great biodiversity of the local flora and fauna, the museum also focuses on human development as well as life and work in and with the forest: it was primarily the glassworks for which the Bavarian Forest is known far beyond its borders.

Our tip: A unique miniature glassmaking village, created with great attention to detail by the woodcarver Josef Schmidt, vividly illustrates the individual areas of work that were necessary for glass production.

Sudetendeutsches Museum (Sudeten German Museum) Munich (Upper Bavaria)

Nahaufnahme bunter Glasgefäße in einer Vitrine
© Melina Rauh
Große Vitrine mit bunten Glasexponaten
© Melina Rauh
Bunte Glasexponate in einer Vitrine

Empress Maria Theresa already praised Bohemian glass as "the best jewel in the land". Since the 15th century, Saxon glassmakers had colonised the northern outskirts of Bohemia in search of wood and quartz sand. The greenish, hazy forest glass of the early glassworks could not compete with the elegant glass creations from Venice. It was only after the invention of clear, grindable chalk glass in 1683 that cut crystal glass from Bohemia was in demand worldwide. As a result, internationally important glass manufacturers established themselves in the Bohemian Forest, the Egerland and the Giant Mountains. A colourful selection of their refined glass pieces awaits you at the Sudetendeutsches Museum (Sudeten German Museum) in Munich in the "Economy and Culture" collection area.

Isergebirgs-Museum Neugablonz (Swabia)

Außenansicht des Museums, auf der modernen Gebäudefassade steht das Wort "reikuckn"
© Celia Uhalde
Vitrine mit bunten Glasexponaten
© Celia Uhalde
Einblick in die helle große Galerie des Museums
© Celia Uhalde

"Reikuckn" and walk into the "Wonderful world of glass" is the motto of the Isergebirgs-Museum Neugablonz! Because costume jewellery made of sparkling glass stones and colourful beads is the profession of the people of Gablonz and their industry. In the Isergebirgs-Museum Neugablonz (Isergebirgs-Museum Neugablonz), their almost 200-year history comes alive and becomes tangible.
Expelled from the Jizera Mountains region after the Second World War, several thousand people settled in Kaufbeuren and founded the Neugablonz district here.
The development of (Neu)Gablonz costume jewellery is presented alongside the history of the town. On display are replicas of historical crowns, a belt buckle for Marlene Dietrich and Princess Diana's famous engagement ring.

Museums in the city hall in Plößberg (Upper Palatinate)

Ein Mann, der Kindern den Aufbau eines Schmelzofens erklärt
© - Klaus Schicker
Eine Glaskugel, die Glasbläser bei der Arbeit zeigt sowie ein Glasschmelzofen im Hintergrund
© - Klaus Schicker - Klaus Schicker
© - Klaus Schicker

Not a relic of the past: gigantic glass melting furnaces "Made in Plößberg". It all began around 300 years ago when master bricklayer Hans Georg Horn repaired a furnace in the nearby old glassworks. Soon after, Plößberg bricklayers and stonemasons did the same and set off for neighbouring glassworks as far as Bohemia to repair or build new furnaces. In the Museen im Rathaus (Museums (external link, opens in a new window) in the city hall) you can learn everything there is to know about the long tradition of kiln building and glass production.

Eine Familie, die gemeinsam die Glasausstellung besucht
© - Klaus Schicker
Ausstellungsbereich mit Glasexponaten
© - Klaus Schicker
Eine Holzskulptur eines Glasbläsers
© - Klaus Schicker
Blick in die Ausstellung mit einer hüfthohen Vitrine im Zentrum
© - Klaus Schicker

Fichtelgebirge Glasmuseum (Glass Museum) in the Warmensteinach Leisure Centre (Upper Franconia)

Blau-weißer Teller mit einem Porträt von König Ludwig II
© Glasmuseumvereins Warmensteinach - Peter Fülle
Blau-weißer Teller mit Pfaumotiv
© Glasmuseumvereins Warmensteinach - Peter Fülle
Ausstellungsraum mit diversen Glasobjekten
© Glasmuseumvereins Warmensteinach - Peter Fülle

Glass production in the Fichtelgebirge was documented as early as 1340 and is still an important industry in the region today. The Glasmuseum (Glass Museum) in Warmensteinach shows the development of the glassmaking trade through the centuries using the tools and products, from filigree Christmas tree decorations to the "lead-heavy", hand-blown lead crystal floor vase. The formative influence of the expellees from Gablonz in the Jizera Mountains, who settled here after 1945, is also documented.