The Riedel Story …
In 1756 the genius Mozart was born, the first wine region in Portugal was registered, and Casanova escaped from the Doge’s Palace in Venice. In this bygone age, Maria Theresa ruled as Empress of the Austrian empire and there were signs of an impending storm in Europe.
During the Seven Years’ War, Austria-Hungary tried to win back Silesia (a historical region of Europe covering Poland, Czech Republic and Germany), and the battles involving the great powers shake the continent. Over the following years, governments across Europe forged ahead with agricultural modernization and industrial development to get the economy moving again.
It was during this spirit of optimism that a company was started that would come to epitomize high-quality glass products over the next centuries. It was in Bohemia, then part of the Habsburg Monarchy, that third generation Johann Leopold Riedel started the story of this dynasty, which to this day remains inseparably connected with glass.
The tradition of the Riedels as glassmakers is rich in touching legends and unbelievable success stories, as well as economic crises and personal tragedies. Through skill and creativity, the RIEDEL company managed to withstand the end of the monarchy, the social upheavals of the newly established Czechoslovakia Republic, and the effects of the global economic crisis.
After the Second World War, the Riedel family was dispossessed, lost all their property in Bohemia, all their factories and the entirety of their private assets. Walter Riedel, the eighth generation of the company, spent ten years imprisoned in Russia and all future prospects seemed to have evaporated. But the story played out differently thanks to the enormous courage and effort of Walter Riedel. It is his legacy that the bohemian Riedel tradition began anew, in Kufstein Tyrol, Austria. And the rest, as they say, is history…