Excursion to Meisenthal – an Inspiring Story

The story of the Meisenthal glassworks in Lorraine is a story of encouragement for the Bavarian Forest and for Glass Works! That is why a small delegation set out in summer 2019 to find out more on the spot. In the small French village, the “Center International d‘Art Verrier”, a glass and cultural centre, is being built with considerable public money, and is also intended to become a tourist figurehead for the entire region. Art, technology and industry form an unusual connection. Old and modern architecture flow into one another, stand for the past and the future. Young designers experiment in the former glassworks, children playfully learn how to handle glass, concerts and exhibitions take place in the former furnace hall. There is also a small, design-oriented production again, mainly of Christmas tree balls.

Lorraine was a poor region and the residents decorated their Christmas trees with dried apples at Christmas. In 1858 the harvest turned out badly and balls made of glass replaced the fruit. A special Christmas decoration was created!

After years of depression, confidence in Meisenthal is growing according to the motto “The story goes on!” The insolvency of the factory in 1969 was only a temporary turning point. A museum was created that shows what the workers, with their great skill, created over 250 years in the factory, which was once the center of French Art Nouveau, with Émile Gallé as the main protagonist. For Yann Grienenberger, the director of the Meisenthal Glass Center, the following applies: Nothing happens by itself, let‘s tackle it! A good sentence also for our Glass Works project in the Bavarian Forest!