With its hypnotic glass-blowing workshops, the so-called ‘Kingdom of Crystal’ is an attempt to revive the fading Swedish art of glass-blowing, which began in Kosta in 1742. With the closure of major factories in Boda (2008) and Orrefors (2013), the 'Glasriket' banner seeks to unify the remaining glass-blowing and crystal workshops that are spread out over a broad area around the villages of Kosta, Boda, Orrefors and Nybro. It's a niche market and a difficult task.
Kosta, with its full-scale factory, is the epicentre of the revival, but it's become a bit of an outlet shopping paradise, frequented by the busload. Glass-lovers will want to augment their shopping trip with a visit to at least one of the smaller glasbruks – each has something to offer.
The region is also popular with Americans tracing their ancestors: many emigrated from the area at the end of the 19th century.