Today I want to extend a warm welcome to visitors from Germany! It’s always exciting to see a new country on the list of Inspirational Beading readers, and learn a little bit about where they come from.
Vintage bead lovers and collectors know that Germany has been a major contributor to the glass bead trade in the last century. After World War II, many bead makers relocated from the future Czech Republic to Germany, and continued to produce beautiful beads. The main settlement for these refugees was Neu Gablonz - named after the Bohemian city Gablonz, which would later become Jablonec nad Nisou. The first bead site was established in a bombed out munitions factory, and the trade flourished with thousands of artists at work. Today, there are fewer than 400 bead factories in the region, and many of them do not produce beads for resale, but for in-house jewelry designs.
Das Land der Dichter und Denker - the land of poets and thinkers - is home to more than 4000 museums, and an amazing 25000 libraries. Germany is also known for it’s musical influences, with hundreds of theatres and symphonies, as well as the legacies of composers like Beethoven and Bach.
The Neues Museum is one of particular interest for me - it is the current home of the infamous and beautiful bust of Nefertiti. The artifact was discovered in 1912 by Ludwig Borchardt, and has since traveled throughout Germany, to finally settle in the museum before World War II. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding Nefertiti, as the Supreme Council of Antiquities attempts to have their queen returned to her homeland. While in Germany, Nefertiti is visited by over half a million people every year.
Happy beading, Germany!
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