Celebrating Christmas Baubles in Krakow
The first Christmas baubles were made in Germany. Exactly when is disputed – some accounts trace them back to 16th century, while others claim they were invented in 1847 by an entrepreneurial glassworker named Hans Greiner. What's not in doubt however is that, by the end of the 19th century, these delicate glass balls had become Poland’s must-have festive decoration and, before long, the country had become the world’s leading bauble producer. Today, Vitbis, Poland’s largest manufacturer, reputedly makes around 100,000 of the ornaments a day.
Known as ‘bombka’ or ‘banka’, Polish baubles are made from paper-thin blown glass and, while they can be found in a huge range of shapes, sizes and patterns, the most traditional are apple-sized spheres hand-painted in glossy red, blue or gold and decorated with regular geometric patterns.
And Krakow is the place to find them. There are bauble stalls at the Christmas market and, in the Old Town district, you can find entire shops selling nothing else. (Calik, for example, on Rynek Glowny will even do you a custom-designed bauble, as they did for Ivana Trump.)
Our Krakow Christmas Market tour 2020 includes two full days in the city, so why not pack an extra bag and make next Christmas a bauble extravaganza. Read more about our festive programme here