The original village Dörf was founded in the 17th century near Seifenbach (Sejfský, now Ryzí stream) and at the beginning of 18th century its name was changed to Harrachov by its owners (originally Harrachsdorf).
After World War II. settlements Nový Svět and Rýžoviště joined Harrachov, in 1959 Mýtiny, remote settlement on Polish side, also joined it with exchange of the same large area at Kacířská skála. Harrachov was given a railway connection with Kořenov and Tanvald. This exceptional rack railway offers beautiful sightseeing tour with a view to romantic landscape of Jizera mountains and Krkonoše and with a lot of tunnels and viaducts.
Before Harrachov became the most known tourist and sport centre of west Krkonoše , it had become famous in glass production abroad. Firstly in Rýžoviště and later in Nový Svět tradition of first class hand-made broad, cut, engraved, painted and differently decorated glass was estabilished. In newly open museum of glass real jewels of glass art are exhibitted.
The settlement Rýžoviště became famous in mining of ores.It belongs to the oldest settlements in Krkonoše that were founded in prehussite time when mining began in Krkonoše.
In past times a gallery was estabilished in so called Rock wall at the beginning of Mumlavský důl(mine). There was discovered a vein of heavy spar with fluor and galena. In recent times it used to be one of the most mined deposits of fluor in Czech republic and the only ore deposit in this area. The mining was finished in 1992.
In the first half of the 17th century glass works were founded in Rýžoviště ( in about 1630, it was closed in 1711) and in 1865 a textile factory Seifenbašská tkalcovna(mill) was built and in 1947 it was rebuilt into physical educational centre, nowadays it is Sporthotel.
There is also a chapel of St. Elizabeth with glass bell from 1915. The Imperial church of St. Wenceslaw from (1822-1828) is also decorated with glass of this glass factory (chandelier, altar). Mining was finished in 1992 when the mine (fluor, heavy spar and galena) was closed on west hillside of Ptačinec (950 m. a. s.).
Traditional line is also forestry (a forest enterprise, a forest school and a saw-mill). The role of the most important industrial sphere has been taken over by tourism industry.