Hergiswil Glass Factory – Glasi Hergiswil
A great day out not too far from Zurich is a trip to the glass factory in Hergiswil. Just around three quarters of an hour from the city by car and a little under 90 minutes by train, it makes for a great half day out and is perfect for rainy days!
The famous glass foundry was founded by the Siegwart brothers and has been in existence since 1817.
Situated directly on Lake Lucern the factory has a glass tower and a small outdoor play area and it occupies a beautiful location. It’s suitable for everyone – families, individuals and small groups are all welcome without prior notice and it takes around an hour and a half to two hours to see all of the museum and exhibits. Afterwards you may want to visit the restaurant or café or go shopping in the glassware shops – or simply stroll along the lake.
Tour of The Exhibition “Formed By Fire”
The main exhibition “Formed By Fire” explains the history of glass making in Hergiswil and how the Hergsiwil Glass Factory came into being. It tells the story of how Roberto Niederer saved the Glass works so that it could continue providing local employment and producing glassware in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The museum is very well done. It’s a walk-in film with a variety of scenes and it won the award from the European Council in 1996 for being «one of the most beautiful museums in Europe».We went on the English language version of the tour and it gave a fascinating insight into the world of glass making over the years.
Glassblowers at Work
After the tour of the exhibition you are led directly onto a platform above the the glassmaking area where you can see the glass makers at work. You can watch different items of glassware being fashioned across a variety of stations.
For example when we were there we saw large glass plates being made on one station and what looked like vases at other stations. You are free to watch for as long as you wish and it’s quite fascinating to see how the molten glass can be fashioned in so many ways.
Blow Your Own Glass Ball
For CHF 20 you are able to take part in the glass blowing experience yourself and to keep your “masterpiece” to take home with you. There is a choice of shapes and sizes of glass balls which you can choose to blow. You are given instruction and helped by one of the glass blowers – the interesting thing is how gentle you need to be whilst blowing. Having blown your ball, the hot piece of glass is put aside to rest and cool and you are given a number so that you can pick up your unique work of art half an hour or so later.
The Glass Archive
We went for a tour of the Glass Archive which is like a library of the many glass items which have been produced over the years at Glasi Hergiswil. This is a continually expanding exhibition as every new product is added to the archive once it has been produced.
Visit the Glass Labyrinth
It’s also great fun to go round the Glass Labyrinth which is located close to the reception. You need to take off your coat and put on white gloves and slippers as you explore this glass maze full of coloured lights.
It is the only glass labyrinth in Switzerland and as well as the light show you can also hear the sounds of the “Glasi” in the background.
The Glass Jewels
The Glass Jewels area showcases priceless articles of glassware and explains the origins of “Flühli glass” and how the Glasi Hergiswil started in the forests of the Entlebuch region.
Experimenting with Glass
There are over 70 different ways in which you can discover and experience glass at Hergiswil with musical glass instruments, funny optical mirrors, glass games and glass marbles in the Glasi Park. There are also water fountains on the lake, a quartz sand pit, and an impressive 7-metre-high tower.
Fairytale for Young Children
For young children there is a mechanical fairytale exhibition called “Znirp and Nisseznirp” which is a story created out of six classic fairy tales (and one real-life tragedy) and lasts about 15 minutes.
Food And Refreshments
Shops – Buy Your Own Souvenir
You can of course buy your own souvenir piece of glassware at the Glasi and there is also a shop selling “slight seconds” too.
To the Formed By Fire Museum
Adults and Children aged 10 or over CHF 7
Children under 10 are free if accompanied by an adult
Entrance to the Glass Labyrinth
Adults and Children aged 10 or over CHF 5
Children under 10 free are free when accompanied by an adult
(Prices also apply for groups and schools)
Reimbursement of purchases
If you makes purchases of CHF 70 or more on the day you can claim reimbursement of your CHF 7 entrance ticket. If you makes purchases of CHF 50 or more on the day you can claim reimbursement of your CHF 5 entrance ticket.
If you have a Museumspass (or the Raiffeisen-Card), you can visit the “formed by fire” Museum (with up to 5 children) free of charge. Do check out the SBB offers to Glasi Hergiswil on SBB RailAway.
Opening Hours Glass Shops
Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday 9 am to 4 pm
Opening Hours for the Glassblowing and Exhibitions
Monday to Friday 9 am -5 pm
Saturday 9 am -4 pm
Address: Seestrasse 12, Hergiswil
See Google Maps here:
All photos by Christina Fryer except for top photo courtesy of Glasi Hergiswil
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