Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj) is not just an area of natural and historical jewels but also of real ones. Head to a region where you can find your own gemstone, visit one of the many local cutting plants and create your own jewellery. At the same time you will become familiar with the rich history of the local jewellery-making tradition and hear some of the many local myths and legends.
The abundance of natural gemstones in Bohemian Paradise was already known during the reign of Emperor Charles IV, but its greatest development came in the 18th century. One legend even says that the jealously guarded formula for the composition of Venetian glass originated in the city of Turnov. It is this style of firing that later became the basis for the world-famous Jablonec costume jewellery.
Take away a stone of love from Bohemian Paradise
The most valuable pieces of jewellery which you can bring away from Bohemian Paradise include those made from dark red Bohemian garnets. This stone of love is considered a mineralogical symbol of the Czech kingdom, and you will find it nowhere else in the world. It is so prized that a set of jewellery made from Bohemian garnets was presented as an official gift to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the Czech Republic. Some of the most beautiful pieces can be seen in the Museum of the Bohemian Paradise in Turnov, where an exhibition filled with the splendour and elegance of the local jewellery awaits you.
Come try your luck!
If you want to try your luck at gem-hunting, head to the highest peak in Bohemian Paradise, Kozakov. This basalt hill was a sought-after hunting ground for precious minerals since prehistoric times, when gem hunters created simple digging tools. The local deposits of beautiful agates, amethysts and other semi-precious stones even served for the decoration of Christian churches.