Czech Glass vs. Bohemian Glass
All About Glass
Do you know the difference between the Czech Republic and Bohemia? The short answer is that there is practically none. Both names refer to nearly the same region, and they are used for historical reasons. From the Middle Ages to 1918, Bohemia was the name of what is today the major part of the Czech Republic. During the reconfiguration of central Europe after World War I, it became part of the newly created Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia adopted a communist regime in 1948, and it became allied with other Soviet-bloc countries. After the dissolution of the communist bloc in 1989, Czechoslovakia was divided into the present-day countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993.
Since the sixth century, Bohemia has been a Slavic country. However, influences from western Europe, particularly from Germany and Austria, have been strong throughout its history. Settlements of German and Austrian emigrants formed a C-shaped belt along the northern, western, and southern borders of Bohemia. From the 10th century on, Bohemia was part of the German and Austrian empires, but it always retained some independence.
Glassmaking has historically played a prominent role in Bohemia, especially in its German-speaking towns. While German names are often used for Bohemian glassmaking towns when referring to 19th- and early 20th-century Bohemian glass and its history, Czech place names are preferred when discussing glass dated after 1918.
Published on October 5, 2011