Sandy beaches, steep cliffs, and glistening waterfalls all have their place in the world of travel. But there’s a special appeal to museums. Nothing can describe the feeling of looking at Chinese porcelain from the 8th century—or a tea kettle from the 6th century. One immediately feels the sacred affluence of time. It’s like looking at a wall of an Egyptian pyramid that’s four millennia old. Walking through a museum’s silent corridors, looking at its exhibits, and reading their descriptions—is a feast that’s not only reserved for history buffs.

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While many of us go to museums to admire certain paintings or some sculpture, museums are not just about art. In reality, quite a number are downright weird. Think about the Toilet Museum in New Delhi or the Celebrity Lingerie Museum in Los Angeles, California. In this article, we want to travel that weird road to the Museum of Broken Relationships located in Croatia.

What Is The Museum Of Broken Relationships In Croatia?

Love is not so smart. In a 1985 hit, DeBarge tells us that Love “goes where it should not go.” And as a testament, quirky items are in the Museum of Broken Relationships that’s located in Croatia. A postcard from a high school lover. An ax which was used for crushing an ex-lover’s furniture in an outburst of rage. Toys and gifts; dull and dazzling—stare at visitors from a close distance.

All these are painful reminders of once romantic unions that bloomed for a while—before ending in heartbreaks and crashing the brightest dreams—cherished by two hearts—that one time beat in complete unison. With the exception of a few, heartbreak is an experience we’ve all gone through. While farewells are many times occasions of celebrations, not so with heartbreaks. However, one couple decided to go about their heartbreak in a different way. That less-traveled road eventually gifted us the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Related: Everything You Can Do in Croatia, Depending on Which Month You Visit.

How It All Started

Dražen Grubišić and Olinka Vištica, the Croatian couple at the heart of this fascinating story, had been dating for four years. These were years that were painted in red, the color that sends the pulse racing. Then in 2003, their relationship shared a fate with thousands more, a fate that’s scandalously becoming increasingly common. They broke up. However, they managed to go about it in a cool way. There was no screaming. No acrimonius fallout. It was almost romantic. Perhaps it’s because there was no major incident. According to Dražen, the relationship just “disintegrated.” Many months later, they would still call each. And tears, as expected, would flow from moist eyes.

But they wanted to preserve something from their relationship. Surprisingly, the idea of a museum came from both of them. In retrospect, seeing that they are both artists, this outcome should not have been a surprise. But it’s the lady, Olinka, who put pen to paper. Dražen, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to transform the concept into practical reality. As a trial, he proposed they test the idea during a local art fair. To prepare for the art fair, they quickly spread the word on their social networks. In the messages, Olinka and Dražen called out for mementos and tokens of heartbreaks.

Related: The 8 Coolest Open-Air Museums In The World

They expected to receive items like teddy bears and other mundane stuff. But the response went beyond their wildest expectations. Hundreds of unique items poured in. One of these was a prosthetic leg that a war veteran had received from his former lover with whom they had since parted ways. Later, they got a small box filled with tears. It was obvious that the idea had caught on. While it started as a traveling collection of donated items, the museum in Croatia became the first permanent physical repository.

Here’s What You Need To Know Before Visiting The Museum Of Broken Relationships In Croatia

Let’s be honest. We rarely read all the captions on exhibits in the museums we visit. However, we guarantee that every visitor to this museum will want to read each and every caption. Some of these exhibits are funny—others may wet quite a number of cheeks. Love is serious business. The museum itself has a kind of charm, even if shaded in colors of melancholy. The best time to visit the museum is the morning hours before the place can get overran with crowds.

  • Where Is The Museum Of Broken Relationships Located? This museum is located in the Croatian capital Zagreb—at Kulmer Palace in the Upper Town.
  • What Is The Admission Fee To The Museum Of Broken Relationships In Croatia? Visitors to the museum will be required to pay about $7 (50 Croatian Kuna)

For those who want to visit the Croatian capital and tour only one place, the Museum of Broken Relationships has to be it.