The 5 Strangest Museums in Europe
Most museums try to offer their visitors a better view of the history and culture of the places where they are built. But these five donâ€™t fit in the â€œnormal museumsâ€ category, their main purpose is to shock, and they are very successful at it. Hereâ€™s a look at Europeâ€™s five strangest museums:
5. The Torture Museum in Amsterdam
The city of Amsterdam is a giant museum in itself, with beautiful old buildings just waiting to be discovered and dozens of smaller but equally interesting real museums. But none are as shocking as the Torture Museum, where visitors can find old instruments of torture gathered from all over Europe, and â€œhelpfulâ€ instructions on how they were used.
It might sound educational and fun but The Amsterdam Torture Museum isnâ€™t for people with sensitive stomachs. The paintings covering the walls do a great job of showing how every torture device was used, and many of the images are not pretty. So if you were thinking of taking your fiancÃ© as a surprise, you had better think again.
4. The British Lawnmower Museum
If youâ€™re a lawnmower enthusiast then this is a place you simply must visit, at least once. The British Lawnmower Museum was established by Brian Radam, an ex-racing champion that was fascinated by lawnmowers from an early age and ended up creating the very successful Discount Garden Machinery Warehouse.
Starting with the invention of the original lawnmower and ending with the worldâ€™s first solar powered robot mower, The British Lawnmower Museum has it all. You can find mowers that belonged to royalty such as Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana, the most expensive mowers in the world, a 2-inch functional lawnmower and many, many other â€œinterestingâ€ things.
3. Leeds Castle Dog-Collar Museum
Attracting more than 500,000 visitors every year, The Dog-Collar Museum set-up inside Leeds Castle is one of the most popular strange museums in the world. The unique dog collar collection counts over 100 unique items that present the history of canine-wear starting from early medieval times to the Victorian Age.
The dog collars were originally gathered by Irish medieval collector John Hurt and his wife Gertrude, and were donated to Leeds Castle in 1979, as a tribute to the castleâ€™s last private owner, Lady Baillie, a big dog lover.
The antique dog collars tell 500 years of canine history, from early, 15th century dog collars, filled with spikes to protect the neck of hunting hounds against wolves, boars or bears, to the glamorous leather and velvet baroque collars of the 18th century.
2. The Icelandic Phallological Museum
It might sound a little dirty to some people, but this strange museum was established in the sole interest of science. SigurÃ°ur Hjartarson says he founded The Icelandic Phallological Museum so people from all over the world could â€œâ€œundertake serious study into the field of phallology in an organized, scientific fashion.â€
This odd museum has a collection of phallic specimens from almost every living mammal in Iceland. Itâ€™s not a collection that anyone would be proud to have but I suppose it has its fans. The 245 items of the phallic collection include specimens of sperm, humpback and even the giant blue whale, polar bears, different kinds of seals and walruses and even tiny mice and other rodents.
The strangest item in the Phallological Museum is the penis of the â€œIcelandic Christmas Ladâ€, donated by a former mayor of Reykjavik. It is believed that â€œIcelandic Christmas Ladâ€ refers to one of Santaâ€™s toy-making helpers.
1. The Hair Museum
Located in Avanos, Turkey, The Hair Museum is a must-see attraction when visiting Cappadocia. It all began in 1979, when famous Turkish potter Galip Korukcu, started collecting womenâ€™s hair and creating a hair museum that would raise his potting-class participation. Now, nearly 30 years later, Galipâ€™s idea turned into an international tourist attraction and even won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
This crazy hair collection numbers over 16,000 different locks of hair and the specific addresses of the bearers. Every year, Galip chooses 10 addresses from the walls of the museum and invites them to participate at his workshops for free and stay in his guesthouse.