Jablonec nad Nisou with its population of nearly 50,000 is an administrative, entertainment, sport–and–recreation centre of the Jizerské Mountains. The first mention of Jablonec dates back to 1356, but permanent settlement only took place in the 16th century when the first glassworks was set up in Mšeno and the first small church was built. A radical change in the town’s development came in the 2nd half of the 17th century. Glass making industry was taking a fast hold, yet at the same time it showed that Jablonec had a good position for trading too. When, in the 1st half of the 18th century, the first costume jewelers products appeared and they became a success on the market right away, nothing stood in the way to the settlement’s further rapid rise.
Jablonec was promoted to township in 1808 and to town by decree of Emperor Francis Joseph I in 1866. It had already traded with all the world then. A whole array of important buildings is evidence of the wealth that was pouring into Jablonec just in those years until the First World War. Among the most interesting ones there are art nouveau houses and villas in today’s Podhorská Street and 28. Října Street. Later Jablonec’s two dominant features were erected, the Lord’s Most Sacred Heart Church on Horní (Upper) Square and the town hall on present Mírové (Peace) Square. And what is Jablonec nad Nisou like nowadays? We hear it is the town of glass and costume jewelers once again, but also a town of sports and the gateway to the Jizerské Mountains. Attractions for visitors: from the entertainment’s point of view it is mainly the theatre, which has been reopened after two years of restoration work, the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewellery, art nouveau buildings with rich ornamentation concentrated especially in Podhorská, Lidická, and 28. Října (October 28th) streets, the Belveder art gallery in Mlýnská Street.
For those interested in sports and recreation there are the sports grounds Na Sřelnici and V Břízkách in Mšeno, summer bathing in three reservoirs, open air tennis courts and indoor halls Nad Prosečí and V Břízkách, an indoor swimming pool, ice skating at indoor stadium, cross–country skiing site V Břízkách, a slalom slope at Dobrá Voda, riding schools in Rýnovice and Jablonec’s vicinity for horse lovers. It only takes 20 minutes to get to Bedřichov or Horní Maxov, two good starting points to the Jizerské Mountains.