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Kosta Glassworks
Glowing glass mass in a sand mold at the Kosta Boda studio.
Photo credit: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

Glasriket – a wonderland of glass

‘The Kingdom of Crystal’ – Glasriket – invites you to experience renowned glassworks via a range of activities – and ample opportunity to stock up on some iconic Swedish decor.

Glasriket is a cultural hub nestling in the province of Småland, in southern Sweden, and covers a vast area between the cities of Växjö and Kalmar. The history of this famous glass district stretches back to 1742 – the year Kosta Glasbruk (now known as Kosta Boda) began hand blowing glass here. In the centuries since, other notable glassware purveyors have set up shop in the area, including Målerås, Bergdala and Skruf. Today there are over a dozen glassworks and studios to discover, along with a wide range of activities and events.

At Kosta Glass Centre, which is part of Glasriket’s experience-driven hub, you can try blowing your own glass, or stand back and observe the hot, molten mass transforms into beautiful glass.

The Kingdom of Crystal can be easily reached by car and public transport from destinations including Växjö, Kalmar, Malmö, Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Swedish decor to treasure

Shopping for Swedish decor is likely to be on your agenda and here you’ll find plenty to choose from at Glasriket, spanning homeware-type pieces and decorative artefacts. There are factory shops within most glassworks, many of which offer freshly hand-blown products. Some have their own web shops, while others can be found at bigger retailers online stores.

Like much Swedish design, nature is a key source of inspiration. At Orrefors Kosta Boda, for example, signature motifs include berries, snowballs and flowers. One of its most popular items is the raspberry-shaped candle holder ‘Hallon’, designed by Anne Nilsson. And look out for iconic designer Ulrica Hydman Vallien’s creations at Kosta Boda, many of which feature whimsical motifs such as birds and flowers.

You can also experience Glasriket and its glassworks in the digital Sweden Art Glass showroom.

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In the Kosta Glassworks studio

A unique work of glass art, designed by Ellen Ehk Åkesson, and produced at Kosta Glassworks.

Photo: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

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In the Kosta Glassworks studio

Photo: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

'Peanut' at Bergdalahyttan

Photo: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

Skruf Glassworks

Photo: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

Mickejohans Konstglas

Photo: Markus Crépin Sundström/Destination Småland

Glass being shaped in the workshop

Photo: Orrefors Kosta Boda

'Septum' vases by Mattias Stenberg

Photo: Kosta Boda

'Carat' candlesticks and vases by Lena Bergström

Photo: Orrefors Kosta Boda

'Hallon' designed for Orrefors.

Photo: Orrefors

Eat and sleep Glasriket-style

Glasriket offers plenty of culinary specialties, one of the most traditional being ‘hyttsill’ (hot-shop herring)– a meal based on local ingredients including pickled herring, crisp-fried bacon, ‘isterband’ (smoked pork sausage) and lingonberry jam. Try this dish at the in-house eateries of Kosta and Pukeberg, among others.

To immerse yourself fully in the Glasriket vibe, why not spend the night? The Kosta Boda Art Hotel is sprinkled with beautiful objects, and features a bar crafted entirely from glass, while the Grimsnäs Herrgård offers a more homely alternative.

To round off the experience, visit the Swedish Glass Museum in Växjö, which charts the history of Sweden’s glassworks and the wonderful creations they’ve yielded over the years.

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Glassblowing

Kosta Boda is one of the worlds leading brands in glassware and glass art.Glass has been crafted at Kosta Boda in Småland since 1742 and still today some of the traditonal techniques are still used in combinaton with modern technology.

Photo: Jan Simonsson/imagebank.sweden.se

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Glassblowing

Photo: Jan Simonsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Glass art centre

Photo: Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se

Kosta Boda Art Hotel

Photo: Joachim Grusell

Kosta Boda Art Hotel

Photo: Klas Hjertberg

Grimsnäs Herrgård

Photo: Grimsnäs Herrgård