Europe’s Strangest Museums
Who doesn't love strolling through a museum when visiting a foreign city? Most of the time they can help you learn a lot about the country you are in whilst also entertaining you with the marvellous things on display. However, that may not be true for the list which you are about to read.
In our last blog post we talked about the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb and so it got us thinking about all the other strange museums that lie on the continent. And after listing some of Europe's best museums in a previous blog post, it is time to take a look at those at the other end of the scale.
Mini Bottle Gallery, Oslo, Norway
Have you ever started collecting something without really trying to and then realised that you could probably collate a rather impressive selection of said item if you really put your mind to it? Well, that's exactly what Norwegian Christian Ringnes did when he started his collection of miniature bottles in 1961.
The museum holds 53,000 bottles in total and also lists parties and business functions under the type of events that it can cater for. Many of the items are displayed by colour and type to create a walk-through experience that also includes a slide to get from one floor to another. The museum bills itself as 'the only mini bottle museum in the world'. We think there's probably a reason for that.
Funeral Carriages Museum, Barcelona, Spain
Some museums are depressing because of the sobering stories they tell of a country's harrowing past, but this collection in Barcelona dulls the mood for different reasons. A selection of hearses, horse-drawn carriages, and motorised vehicles help to depict the evolution of how we have carried our loved ones to their funeral through the years.
There are 19 original exhibits in total as well as an extensive library of 2,000 books which look at the way death is treated in many different cultures throughout the ages. Unsurprisingly, there is quite a big focus on Egyptology in these.
Katten Kabinet, Amsterdam, Netherlands
We like cats as much as the next person but is there really a need to dedicate a whole museum to them? The name of this establishment in Amsterdam translates directly as cat cabinet and plots the role felines play in art and culture throughout history.
As well as paintings there are also posters, sculptures and photographs on display, including bottles of wine with pictures of cats on the label and a lucky cat pinball machine. However, the most creative piece in the museum is an American one dollar bill with a picture of J.P. Morgan, the cat who inspired the museum, on it. Amusingly the words 'in God we trust' have been replaced by the phrase 'we trust no dog'.
Avanos Hair Museum, Cappadocia, Turkey
This rather creepy premise for a museum actually has a heartfelt story behind it. It is believed that the lover of Chez Galip, the owner, had to move away and so she wanted to leave him something to remember her by. She decided to cut a lock of her hair off, pin it to a piece of paper with her new address on, and give it to him.
Now, over 30 years later, over 16,000 other women have visited the museum, heard the story and added to the collection by doing exactly the same. Snippets of hair accompanied by addresses line the walls and ceiling in what is perhaps the strangest carnation of a 'little black book' in the world. Twice a year Chez asks a visitor to pick their favourite ten exhibits and then invites the women who donated them to enjoy a free holiday in the charming town of Cappadocia. This is his way of thanking them for expanding his collection and raising the profile of his pottery workshop upstairs.
If you would like to visit any of these museums for yourself then Fred.\ Holidays can offer a variety of different European city breaks. We tailor-make every trip to your own requirement to create a holiday that is perfectly suited to your tastes. Call us today or submit an online enquiry.