Since agriculture has never flourished in this predominantly mountainous region, most local people made their living from crafts in the past. The Liberec Region is historically associated with the glassworks, jewellery, glass jewellery and textile industry.
To this day you can take a tour of a glassworks factory in the surroundings of Železný Brod, Semily, Turnov, Jablonec nad Nisou, Poniklá or Frýdlant, where glass-figures, beads and Christmas decorations are produced. Nový Bor and Kamenický Šenov are towns renowned throughout the world for the production of glass chandeliers, as well as blown, engraved and polished glass. This is also made in the Giant Mountains glass works in Harrachov. Most glass works offer tours of their factories with demonstrations and it is not unknown that visitors get to make a small glass work-of-art of their own to remind them of their visit to the glass foreman.
Bohemian glassware is a world icon and remains preserved thanks to the many collections in an array of museums, some of which specialise in exhibitions of glassware. The Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou is unique in its kind, as is the quality of its collections. They illustrate the evolution of the glass and jewellery industry, various coinage of Czech and foreign origin and have a special focus on the North Bohemian production region. The museum in Kamenický Šenov maps and contrasts glass artwork of the past and present. The exhibition of engraved glass is considered totally unique.
Bohemian Paradise was and still is a rich discovery site of precious and semi-precious stones. Jewellery making which has developed here is mapped in the Museum of Bohemian Paradise in Turnov, which also organises international jewellery symposiums. Thanks to these symposiums the museum possesses one of the most important collections of modern jewellery. Jewellery made of Czech garnet is also made in Turnov. In the mint in Jablonec nad Nisou internationally known medals of all kinds are produced.
Another traditional sector typical for the Liberec Region was the textile industry, which many towns, especially the city of Liberec, have to thank for their development. We are reminded of this today by the architectonically generous mansions of the textile industrialists from the turning point of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The faded-fame of the former textile factories is visible today from the many industrial monuments typical of the Liberec Region (dams, waterworks, factories, machines).
This region also offers interesting food and drinks. Czech beer is famous around the world and the Liberec Region contributes to its selection (Vratislavice, Svijany and Malý Rohozec breweries). Non alcoholic drinks are also on offer (natural fruit juices). In the countryside goat and sheep’s cheese is still made. Potato pancakes, a local speciality from the Giant Mountains, have become a nationwide dish.
You can taste and buy all regional products at various festivals (the Cheese festival in Frýdlant and the Wallenstein festival – Valdštejnské slavnosti), fairs (Smržovka fair) or markets (the Old Bohemian market in Turnov and Easter markets). Many products are on offer in specialised shops in Turnov or Liberec. Regional products can be recognised by the labels “Krkonoše originální produkt” (original product of the Giant Mountains), “Regionální produkt Český ráj” (Regional product of Bohemian Paradise), or “Regionální produkt Jizerské hory” (Regional product of Jizera Mountains).
The Liberec Region announces the regional product of the year at the annual harvest festival.