The Kingdom of Crystal

Orrefors Kosta Boda is one of the world’s leading brands within glass and glass art. The glassblowers have through generations learned to master the liquid glass mass and refined the craft since 1742. Kosta has just 800 inhabitants, but during the year the location draws over a million people from around the world. The production of the glass that is done in the sheds is the centre of attention. With time, more activities have come to life and today is Kosta a destination for excursions that lasts for days – for the whole family.

The name Kosta comes from the founders, Koskull and Staël von Holstein, who founded the brand in their name.

You have many activities for your visitors. Is it something you shouldn’t miss?

– The Christmas market is my baby, and that is what many people associate us with during the season. It is an exceptional experience with lots of traditional Christmas celebration. We have hired the same special effect company as Liseberg, and together with them, we have successfully created a memorable experience for the whole family.

– This means that we can offer snow. No matter the weather. We always have a sheet of artificial snow, that stays during the whole period of the Christmas market. Accompanying this we also have five million lights in Kosta Boda, that shines, and lights up the Christmas market, and provides a splendid experience

– We are usually ranked as one of the best markets in Sweden, which of course makes us proud and happy.

And have this spread abroad as well?

– Absolutely. We have many Danish and German visitors during the Christmas market, and usually, everyone is pleased with the framing of the experience. Kosta and the surrounding have been a destination since its start in 1742. If you come here during the sunnier side of the year, you can visit our glass sheds or experience one of our other experiences, of course, you can get information about the next Christmas market as well. Thanks to that, a lot of the visitors choose to come back here for the Christmas market.

Is there any glass blowing during the Christmas market?

– Indeed there is! The market is placed on the old glass blowing grounds, which enable us to connect our history and the crafting.

– We have around 80 people daily in the huts, and we are keeping the furnaces warm all year round, and creating glass 365 days a year. Kosta Boda is one of Sweden’s oldest companies that is still in effect, and the main reason for that is that we have the same high standard on our glass as we always have. This is noticeable foremost international, where we soon will be represented across the world.

– We always put extra effort into international deals and export to over 40 countries; our biggest ”client” would be the USA which is one of the biggest markets.

So with all this said, you can say that the future is looking bright for Kosta Boda?

– It truly is. We are looking forward all the time and following along with the changes. Ten years ago, everyone said that it was impossible to build a glass hotel in the forest. Still, today we are planning to expand the hotel with 55 new rooms, a new restaurant, amphitheatre and a microbrewery. It is all about putting your faith in the ideas that make you fall in love, and then go for it, and work, with determination to make the concept real.

– There is always something going we on

– The glass hotel is booked to 73 % the year around which as surprising, considering where we are located. Kosta Boda is the biggest in what’s called Glasriket (The glass empire), and we supply a big part of the municipal in the form of working opportunities in our different branches.

During Christmas, you also have six concerts with the Swedish entertainer Tommy Körberg, which also is notable.

– Yes, that is cool! You can’t experience that anywhere else in the country, so we are pretty proud of it. It is also a confirmation that we are doing something right with the Christmas market. The audience is also willing to come, and with that said, we are attracting some big names to appear and play. Many of the artist that come also like to stay a couple of days. They live at the hotel with their families. That way they get some Christmas peace and quiet and even some Christmas spirit in a stunning environment, which where they can relax between performances as well.

You also have a book signing with the author Anna Jansson, a big seller in Sweden and internationally.

– Yes. Anna is a real Kosta-friend. One of her books is set in Kosta Boda, and that is, of course, something we take great pride in. Moreover, will Kristin Kaspersen to sign her latest book, and we also, always, have to people from the TV show Idol come and live here a week after the final. They make a special show for us, and it is one of the first times the audience get to get familiar with this year’s winner.

– So, you can say with some weight to your words, that there is always something going on here at Kosta – whether you come to see Bertil Vallien and Kjell Engman work in the huts, eat good food, listen to established artists or experience the beautiful nature here at Kosta. Everything is connected, and there is guaranteed something for everyone in the family! Emil Andersson finishes.

Text: Tony Manieri
Photo: Destination Kosta