The Lipowa 3 Glass and Ceramics Centre – former Krakow GlassworksIn 1931, the buildings of the former match factory "Znicz" Street in Lipowa Street in Krakow were taken over by a company, in which the main shareholders were former soldier, engineer Leon Bąkowski and Dawid Chazan, a businessman of Jewish descent. At the beginning of 1932, the company launched glassworks in Lipowa Street, which was given the name "Krakow Glassworks, Eng. L. Bąkowski, D. Chazan and Co." (from 1936 - "Krakow Glassworks, D. Chazan and Co."). Skilled workers mostly came to Krakow from Bialystok and Narewka, where the company owners also owned glassworks. At the beginning of its activity, the factory produced bottles (for vodka, wine, mineral water) and apothecary glass, employing 300 to 500 people, depending on the number of orders from the State Spirit Monopoly (Państwowy Monopol Spirytusowy). In 1938, it placed the glassworks in 6th place among the largest companies in Krakow in terms of number of employees.
In 1940, Krakow Glassworks was confiscated by the Germans. Until May 1943, the factory’s assets were managed by Treuhand Verwertung G.m.b.H. company. Then the plots and the buildings were sold to General Directorate of Monopoles (Generaldirektion der Monopole).
After leaving Krakow by the German army, the property of glassworks was nationalised. In the 60s, a research institute of the glass industry was established in Lipowa Street, connected to the glassworks in 1971. In the next year it became a branch of the Institute of Glass (Instytut Szkła) in Warsaw. The 70s was the time of greatest prosperity of the branch - at that time hand-formed "Krakow glass" became very popular in Poland and Europe. Its production ended in 1998.
In 2014, at the initiative of the Glass and Building Materials Department of the Ceramics and Building Materials Institute, having its residence in Lipowa Street, the Lipowa 3 Glass and Ceramics Centre was founded. It includes:
- The Lipowa 3 Gallery, which regularly organises exhibitions of works by contemporary Polish artists who create glassware and art pottery;
- live demonstrations of glass being hand-moulded, allowing a closer look at the fascinating process of glass making, as well as enabling you to try your hand at the profession of glassblower;
- „Glass in Krakow. Industry and art. 1931-1998” – permanent exhibition relating to the history and technology of glassmaking, which includes a collection of original tools used for the manufacturing of glass and a collection of antique glassware from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as a collection of contemporary coloured glassware produced at Lipowa 3 from 1969 to 1998.