Museum of Broken Relationships

You know that feeling when you break up with somebody and then you hate that person as much as the perfume which reminds you of him (or her) and that stupid stuffed animal he (she) gave you for the anniversary? Behind every relationship there is so much left, both material and non-material. A broken heart, an empty apartment, a photo album, a ring, a letter, a garden gnome, an ax. What to do with all those things? The heart will heal, so you don’t need to worry about that, and last few years you don’t need to worry about the things too. Everything that reminds you of your ex – just throw it, or put it in the museum.

The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia can be found in Upper town’s baroque palace and, like the name says, it is dedicated to failed relationships. It consists of various personal items donated by the ex-lovers and every item is followed by the short story.

Museum of Broken Relationships | The museum was founded when the relationship between two Zagreb’s artists was broken. They were kidding about founding the museum because they didn’t know what to do with all the items that were left behind. Since 2006, the collection had traveled all around the world and at the end of 2010, it finally settled down in Zagreb, Croatia. Because of its originality, specific ambient and great working hours, the museum became one of the most popular in the city.

Like in the every other museum, in Museum of Broken Relationships one you can find the exhibits with the explanation labels. But, like in no other museum, the visitors stop in front of the every exhibit and they read every single label. Both exhibits and stories are exceptional; here you can find diverse items – from the ax, the wedding dress, and the garden gnome to the bicycle, the frizzle and Frankfurt’s map. Those personal stories will make you laugh, they will shock you, they will make you sad or even cry… because they belong to real people who really experienced them. They will induce the reaction. We all can identify ourselves with some of the stories and we all had the broken heart once. In one moment, all of us become aware how much memories can be kept in little, ordinary thing. And that is what makes this museum so valuable.

A side-view mirror, 1983 – 1988, Zagreb, Croatia

One night his car was parked in front of the “wrong” house. He paid for that negligence with his side-view mirror. I was sorry afterward since the car was not to blame. The wipers also got their share, but they were made of more solid materials and thus stayed in the car. The following day, when the “Gentleman” came home, he told me a weird story about some hooligans who tore off his side-view mirror and bent his wipers. It was so funny that I was tempted to confess. Still, since he never told me where he had been that evening, neither did I. It was the beginning of the end of our relationship.

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A key bottle opener, 1988 – 1998, Ljubljana, Slovenia

You talked to me of love, gave me small gifts every day; this is just one of them. The key to the heart. You turned my head; you just didn’t want to sleep with me. I realized how much you loved me only after you died of AIDS.

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This museum is brilliant, entertaining, bizarre, genuine and – it is not sterile. None of the exhibits it’s hidden by the glass or some other obstacle and, even if you cannot touch them, you can feel like you are the part of museum’s story. The museum is not big and you are not going to spend the hours in it, but the visit will surely be a unique experience. Sweet café with an excellent coffee and an interesting gift shop are parts of the museum. In the gift shop, you can buy funny souvenirs like “bad memory” eraser and “I love break-ups” t-shirt.

Check it out in the photos bellow.

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Museum of Broken Relationships
Cirilometodska 2, Zagreb, Croatia (Upper town)
website | 9 – 21 (summer 9 – 22:30)
entrance fee 30 kn
*featured photo and quotes are courtesy of Museum of Broken Relationships*

Did you already visit a museum of one of its visiting exhibitions?

ps. Now there is a new permanent exhibition in the museum, we will visit soon!

Museum of Broken Relationships |