One of the highlights of an urban holiday is the chance to indulge in the collective culture and history of your chosen destination. And chances are you’ll want to spend some time visiting its various museums and galleries. These spaces, in particular those that include national archives, provide significant insights into the events and philosophies that have shaped the culture in question.
There are also plenty devoted to various sciences or professional fields. And then there are those looking at different aspects of culture, ones with a more quirky or niche attraction. This is the realm of speciality interest collections, exhibiting that which you had not expected to see or thought you might be fascinated by. Some are fun and some are downright bizarre. All will probably bring a new level of enjoyment to a trip!
Below, the Flexicover Team lists a few of the quirkiest museums in Europe that would make an intriguing visit.
Katten Kabinet; Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Founded in 1990 by Bob Meijer in memoriam of his beloved ginger tomcat, John Pierpont Morgan (1966-1983), this is probably the ultimate collection of kitty pictures assembled to date. This museum is dedicated to feline representations, designed to showcase the role of the cat in art and culture down the centuries. Five rooms are filled with sculptures, lithographs, playbills, paintings and other visual depictions. J.P. Morgan (the cat) has his own shrine with some of the specific presents he received during his lifetime including a book of limericks and a one dollar bill with his portrait on it.
Gelato Museum Carpigiani; Bologna, Italy
One of the best parts of any Italian holiday is stopping regularly for gelato while sightseeing. More than just ice cream to many, you can now get a complete insight into how this delectable frozen treat has changed over the years. The museum is located inside the Carpigiani headquarters, a manufacturing company founded in 1946 to make gelato machines. Here you can indulge in an interactive tour on its history, view a large collection of gelato machines and look at ice-cream advertising over the decades. Plus historians are on hand with samples of old recipes and there's the chance to make your own artisan gelato.
Museum of the Sewers; Paris, France
The Musée des égouts de Paris may require a strong constitution to visit, as you’ll literally be walking through the sewers of the city. In the museum, located under the Quai d’Orsay near the Pont de l’Alma on the Left Bank, you can see examples of sewer maintenance equipment, exhibits about the history, design and ecological impact of the Paris sewer network from its original construction in the 14th century, life-size figurines of sewer workers in full gear and huge wooden balls that were historically used to clean the tunnels beneath the Seine.
Museum of Broken Relationships; Zagreb, Croatia
Everyone has probably suffered or will suffer from some kind of heartbreak during their life. Building on this common experience, the Museum of Broken Relationships in the Croatian capital displays an astonishing collection of ex-relationship paraphernalia. Here you can find abandoned stuffed toys, rejected rings and even stranger remains, such as a wooden watermelon. Started as an art piece with a touring collection, it opened in 2010 in a permanent space to showcase a special kind of universal fragility. Visitors are even encouraged to donate artefacts from their own broken relationships.
Museum of Currywurst; Berlin, Germany
Germans love their wurst (any of a large variety of German sausages), particulary currywurst, where it’s served with chips and a spicy ketchup. So it was decided there was no better way to prove their culinary devotion than to dedicate an entire museum to this dish. Here a variety of interactive exhibits help you discover its history, the way it’s made and where to get the best wurst in town. Appealing to all the senses, it even has spice sniffing stations, a virtual game called ‘Curry Up!’, themed songs and the chance to sample this cult delicacy.
For a unique and interesting experience, head out to any of a number of speciality interest museums and galleries all across Europe. Whether you’re wolfing down gelato in Italy or cooing over cats in Amsterdam, remember that we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.