The Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships is the third most popular attraction in Zagreb. It is easily beating all other cultural destinations, perhaps because its name resonates so well with audiences around the world. Every new exhibition seems to “go viral”. This museum was been awarded the Kenneth Hudson Award in 2011 for ‘the most unusual, daring and, perhaps, controversial achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of the museums’. Sounds like an interesting place, and it is.
The first thing most people see at the Museum of Broken Relationships is a fashionable terrace where you can sip a coffee or nice glass of wine, served by energetic and friendly people, while listening to jazz. It’s such a cool place that they even served the water for a dog with a slice of lemon. The Museum is located in the beautiful baroque Kulmer palace in the Upper Town, a historical part of Zagreb rich in tourist attractions.
Croatians, in general, are friendly and outgoing people. The staff at the Museum of Broken Relationships is no exception. As soon as we entered, we were welcomed in the warmest way possible by a host who will sell you tickets, explain that they encourage photography and the point of being Wi-Fi free.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is a collection of what seems like rather mundane objects but once you delve deeper into their meaning you will understand their significance. Nothing in the Museum of Broken Relationships is hidden behind glass. Visitors are asked not to touch objects (too much) but it’s not the objects that are sacred; it’s the story they tell.
The collection of the Museum of Broken Relationships is crowd-sourced. People hand in their objects reminding them of a past relationship at one of the many traveling exhibitions of the museum, or they simply hand them in at the museum in Zagreb. Like the collections of most other museums, the objects once belonged to real people like you and me. This is made very clear from the beginning of the museum, making the entire experience more personal.
Hands up if you also think the gift shop is the best part of any museum! Certainly, the gift shop of the Museum of Broken Relationships is certainly unique. They have bad memories erasers, ‘I love break-up’ t-shirts and of course a beautiful catalog which I think should be sold online, if only because it documents love and despair better than any cheap novel in this summer’s top-10 bestseller list. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a great museum, charging less than 4 euros to have hours of fun (and less than 2 for a great glass of wine while you’re at it).
For more information on visiting Zagreb check out our Grand Balkan Tour at https://www.kutrubestravel.com/tours/2017-grand-balkan-tour/.