Town History

Although the first written document about a settlement on the Nisa river called Jablonec dates back to as early as 1356, Jablonec did not achieve the importance of the settlements established in more fertile locations of the kingdom for the whole of the Middle Ages.

, an image opens in a new windowThe settlement ceased to exist after being burnt to the ground by the troops of the Lusatian enemy of the Czech king, Jiří (George) of Poděbrady, in August of 1496 and only after a considerable time, under the Vartenberks' economic reorganisation of the Malá Skála dominion in the 1530s and 40s, the rest of the original Czech people were replaced with German population within the colonisation of the Jizerské Mountains. They were mostly glass-making experts from the then advanced glass-making Nový Bor area or from the Krušné (Ore) Mountains area, who began practising and developing their expertise hitherto gained, in this region rich in wood, sand and water.

In the Thirty Years' War period, Jablonec was burnt to the ground for the second time (May 2, 1643) followed by a forced exodus of a number of local Lutherans to outland exile. Counts Des Fourse acquired the major part of Jablonec area as a fee (later on as a free manor) after well-known Albrecht of Wallenstein, who had owned the Malá Skála dominion in the first half of the Thirty Years' War, when he still lived. Jablonec began to flourish fairly quickly in the second half of the 17th century with the general development of glass production. This was also reflected in building a new church consecrated to Saint Ann in the 1680s, this time made of stone already.

, an image opens in a new windowIn the middle of the 18th century, the range of goods by Jablonec's makers, traditional Jizerské glass already extended with first artificial jewellery then, were winning interest of neighbouring regions fast. The first exporters, like Jan František Schwann, who spread the name of the local products throughout Europe and further, started to appear.

The economic and trading potentials of once insignificant village grew rapidly. The village of Jablonec was promoted to a township by Imperial Decree of April 21, 1808, with the privilege to organise two annual markets, or fairs, and a week's market.

Jablonec already had world-wide commercial connections in the 1830s and 40s, it was, however, completely cut off from the neighbouring areas, from the transportation's point of view. Construction of the Krkonošská (Giant-Mountains) Road on the route Liberec-Jablonec-Trutnov at the end of the 1840s helped the township a lot. Jablonec's interests were not taken into consideration for the construction of the Pardubice-Liberec railroad in 1859, however, the expression "Jablonec goods" was becoming a household name in the world. Emperor Francis Joseph I promoted Jablonec to a town status on March 28, 1866.

, an image opens in a new windowIn 1868 Jablonec definitely became the seat of the sheriff. The new administrative district of Jablonec consisted of the court districts of Jablonec and Tanvald.

The Prussian-Austrian War during the period of 1870 through 1871 pushed the most dangerous competition in glass and artificial jewellery manufacture out of business. Jablonec traders seized the foreign markets and they did not give them up any longer. A steady flow of glass and artificial jewellery products of an incredibly wide range, flexibly responding to crises, political upheavals, famines, epidemics or just simple changes in taste in the customer countries, was flowing out of the town for almost the next half century.

Prosperity in the civil engineering industry walked hand in hand with the economic and demographic advancements. Jablonec's appearance was changing dramatically. Most of the governmental, administrational and private characteristic buildings in the town rose before the World War II and Jablonec got railway connection eastwards (Tanvald) and westwards (Liberec) and also a tram line connecting it to the south and north of the region.

After the Czechoslovak Republic was set up in 1918, first the post-war economic boom came in the middle of the 1920s, followed by the general crisis at the beginning of the 1930s which spelled a deep decline of the glass and artificial jewellery business. The universal depression was further worsened by the specific difficulties of the local industries in the Jablonec area vogue cycles and rising competition from abroad. In spite of that all, it was just then when the two most conspicuous buildings of the town the New Town-hall and the Catholic Church of the Most Sacred Jesus' Heart were erected.

After Germany occupied the borderland, the Jablonec area, too, was part of the German state, from 1938 to 1945. When the World War II ended, the German population was forced out of the country and new settlers from the Czech inland came to the region.

Now the town is gradually shaking off the part of this past's heritage that weighs heavy on it and continues the better of its history.