The Weird & Wonderful: 5 Cultural & Historical Sites to visit

As many of our followers are aware, Rachael and myself are international jet-setters and we like nothing more than visiting the weird and wonderful culture sites in different countries. If you like odd and gross things found in museums, this countdown is right up your street!

A bit like Top of the Pops (if you remember it), I’ll give you a count down for the most obscure and downright strange heritage sites and museums to visit while on your holidays.

  1. The Icelandic Phallological Museum (or The Penis Museum), Iceland
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Outside the Penis Museum

As the museum merchandise states ‘It’s all about dicks’! The only known museum purely dedicated to the male member is situated in the heart of Reykjavik and is definitely worth a gander. I must admit, I have visited this museum twice in the space of a year and each time I have discovered something new. Even the most embarrassed tourist will feel comfortable as they are greeted with a warm smile. Although staffed by a couple of family members, the museum has a thought of everything with interpretation booklets in various international languages.

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Interior of the museum.

The Museum contains a collection of more than two hundred and fifteen penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland. Although light hearted in the way the exhibits are presented, there is still interpretation labels on ever single exhibit from large whale penises to letters of ‘personal’ donation and penis shaped lamps.

For more information including opening times and prices click here.

A must see if you are in the area!

2. Basilica of the Holy Blood, Belgium

Hidden away in a corner just off of Bruges’ main square, is the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The church is probably best known due to the hit film ‘In Bruges’ with Colin Farrell. The church houses the relic of the Holy Blood which is said to be Christ’s blood washed from his body after he Crucifixion by Joseph of Arimathea, creepy I know!

The church not only has this special relic but does have an array of find decorative arts including stained windows, gilded woodwork and beautiful interiors. Grab a beer and Belgium Waffle and go exploring.

Click here to find out more about the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

3. Mummified Monk at Wat Khanaram, Thailand

On the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Thailand sits a mummified monk with a cool pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. The monk Luang Pho Daend (1894-1973),  who died over 40 years ago is still in pretty good condition considering the heat and humidity, but I guess that may be due to the large glass box he sits upright in. He is definitely a crowd pleaser as he is one of the most visited sites on the island.

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Monk, Luang Pho Daend (1894-1973).

4. Vyšehrad Cemetery, Cech Republic

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Vyšehrad Cemetery

If you are ever in Praque, you MUST go to this cemetery if you are in any way interested in death, design or social history. Established in 1869, the graveyard is filled with notable arty and influential people including painter, Mikoláš Aleš (1852–1913) and sculptor, Josef Václav Myslbek (1848–1922).  I know it isn’t a normal tourist day out but I cannot state enough how great this graveyard is. It has everything; beautifully creepy sculpture, mosaic decoration, famous dead people and even a small café next to the church.

5. Memorial to the Murdered Jew in Europe, Germany

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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

One of the most emotional and creepy places I have ever visited during my time travelling. As you walk through the large granite blocks in Berlin, the atmosphere becomes very foreboding and almost claustrophobic……..and soon you feel as if there is no escape. Designed to evoke a  pre-communist WWII  horror which is both personal and collective.  When we visited we did see many children playing on the blocks which was not only disrespectful but also highlighted a lack of  cultural  and historic significance within a select group. This sent shivers down my spine as there is a lot to be said about memorial sites and tourist etiquette. Have fun but please remember to be respectful when you do so!

Find out more here.

Hope you enjoyed our little whirlwind tour of weird, cultural sites from around the world.

Kx

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