Museum of Broken Relationships

Ćirilometodska ul. 2, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

You don’t need to have a broken heart to have a blast at Zagreb’s quirkiest museum. Located in a Baroque town house in the Upper Town, the Museum of Broken Relationships is full of mementos from other people’s romances gone sour. The idea for the museum started when a former couple tried to heal post-breakup by collecting relics of past loves. They put out a call for submissions and people from all over the world responded, sending everything from cards and jewelry to more bizarre keepsakes like handcuffs and stun guns. After traveling the globe, the crowd-sourced collection settled into its permanent home in Zagreb, though it does still function as a visiting exhibition from time to time. The museum even recently opened an outpost in Los Angeles.

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Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships has a way of sneaking up on you. When I visited the Croatian capital in Summer 2012, I figured looking at a bunch of objects that were symbols of various heart broken people’s failed relationships would be a bit sad and dull. It wasn’t. Well, it was sad at times but it was, in a weird way, very cathartic and uplifting. And sometimes a bit amusing. This axe was donated by a jilted lover whose girlfriend fled the relationship for another. The owner of the axe—it was uncertain if it was male or female—destroyed one piece of his/her lover’s leftover furniture for every week that she did not come back.

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Zagreb, Croatia

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