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Växjö

Växjö, home to the Swedish Glass Museum, is an ideal starting point for a tour of at least nine of the famous glassworks set in the beautiful countryside between Växjö and Nybro. Access to timber and water accounts for the concentration of glassworks in this area of Småland, where forest, lakes and waterways dominate the landscape. The glassworks are mostly only 20–30 km (12–20 miles) apart, and many have shops offering discounted items and displays of the designers’ latest creations.

POINTS OF INTEREST

SMÅLANDS MUSEUM

The town’s main attraction is the Smålands Museum, which tells the story of 400 years of glassmaking, and provides a good introduction to a visit to any one of the many glassworks scattered throughout the surrounding forests.

KINGDOM OF GLASS

Bergdala’s signature is blue-edged glass, but designers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to color and shape. The temperature of the smelting oven is a constant 1,150° C (2,102° F).

Strömbergshyttan Studioglas was established in 1987 by three master glassblowers, who work with young designers to create groundbreaking works of art.

The oldest glassworks, Kosta (1742), like Boda and Åfors, has attracted some of Sweden’s foremost contemporary designers. Shown here is the entrance to the original office.

The glassworks was founded in 1898 and has become the flagship of Swedish glassmaking, producing functional, decorative items and objets d’art. The work of Orrefors over the years is on show in its museum.

Målerås – The employees bought this glassworks from Kosta in 1981. It is famous for its crystal animal reliefs by glass artist and master etcher Mats Jonasson.

Pukeberg was founded in 1871. Extensive production in this beautiful old setting has mainly been focused on lighting and domestic glassware using traditional methods.

Johansfors glassworks is known as the Eden of the Kingdom of Crystal, symbolized by Christopher Ramsey’s Astrakhan Apple. Glassblowing is demonstrated daily and there is a museum.

The traditional Boda glassworks has been converted into a Kosta Boda factory shop, museum and exhibition area with a special focus on local artist Erik Höglund.

UTVANDRARNAS HUS

This interesting museum recounts the story of the one million Swedes who, in the face of famine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, left Småland for a better life in America.