Most travellers, if not all, would agree that museum visits have a way of sneaking into our itineraries and drawing us in to soak up a healthy dose of history, art, culture and science.
But if you’ve checked off on the museum staples at popular holiday spots and want to explore concepts unusual, we give you a list of obscure museums you ought to visit on International World Museum Day (May 18).
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Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
This museum is for the stout of heart and the resolute romantic. It pays homage to love in all its gloom and glory, illustrated by objects donated by former lovers from around the world. It is the brainchild of two artists, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubiši, who thought of the idea when their relationship came to an end. This quirky museum continues to accept donations and promises a space of protected remembrance to the objects that remind their owner of their former love.
Do see: Divorce Day Mad Dwarf from Slovenia and An Ex Axe from Germany.
Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall, England
In over 40 years of its existence, the museum has showcased the world’s largest collection of witchcraft-related artefacts and regalia. First started in 1951 by Cecil Williamson, who was fascinated with the occult and witchcraft, the museum changed locations a few times before settling permanently in Boscastle, Cornwall. The categories showcased include everything from devil worship and ritual magic to the persecution of witches. The museum also houses a library of over 3,000 books on these subjects.
Do see: Wooden Witch Mirror, with hand-carved frame featuring a witch’s face; Antler Tines; Bronze Oil Lamp in the form of a horned head supported on a bird-claw foot.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, India
Bet you didn’t think India would make the list. Our very own ode to the commode is the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets that was established in 1992 by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. It displays nearly 300 objects and showcases the history and evolution of toilets from 2,500 BC till today. Since its inception it has tried to create awareness on sanitation and has drawn visitors from all parts of the world. Do see: Harappan settlement toilet from 2,500 BC, India and throne-like chamberpot of French Emperor Louis XIV, who gave audience to select people while using it.
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Casa Batlló Museum, Barcelona, Spain
Smack in the middle of Barcelona, the museum’s design makes for a highly imaginative facade. Locally known as Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones) the pillars and balconies of the structure give the appearance of bones and skulls while the rooftop resembles a dragon’s spine. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, this is acclaimed as the most emblematic work of Catalan architecture. Since 2002, the museum has been open all year long.
Do see: The Noble Floor; The Roof Terrace; The mythical Chimneys and the Building Well.
A pair of handcuffs are displayed at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. The exhibits, collected from all over the world are accompanied by a summary of dates and locations of the relationships, and notes written by their anonymous donors. AP Photo/Darko Bandic