At the Norwegian Folk Museum: The Last “Quirky” Museum Blog

In finishing up my series of blogs on “quirky” museums, I happened upon two more collections that caught my attention during my travels, both contained within the open-air Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo. The first collection contained an assortment of wine bottles – shelf after shelf of neatly-organized, color-coordinated, nicely-labeled bottles of wine. A history of The Wine Monopoly of 1922 was presented, which was a government-owned company, and the only Norwegian alcoholic beverage retailer allowed to sell drinks with an alcohol content of higher than 4.7%. The second collection was in the Norwegian Pharmacy Museum, which displayed shelf after Continue Reading →

Coats of Arms in Latvia and Estonia: A Valiant Defender of Treasure

On the battlefields of medieval times, when Knights in Europe were heavily clothed in metal suits of armour and closed helmets, some sort of quick visual identification was needed during battle. As a matter of survival, the Knights needed to wear marks or symbols on the arms of their armour. Some of these symbols were also embroidered on the arms of the Knight’s surcoats, long and flowing garments that were worn over their armour. Hence, “coats of arms.” Historically, some form of coats of arms used for military purposes can be dated back to early man, including Greek and African Continue Reading →

Latvian Fire Fighting Museum: Stop, Drop and Roll

Curious about fire engines and fire hoses and fire alarm devices? Interested in fire fighting services and fire fighting equipment and techniques? Want to learn about some causes of fires, or educate yourself on fire safety? Want to know about the history of fire fighting? And how about all this when you travel to the country of Latvia? Then next time you are in Riga, please visit The Latvian Fire Fighting Museum. Located in a fire station built around 1911, using an Art Nouveau architectural style, this “quirky” museum presents history and objects of fire fighting in Latvia. From 1912 Continue Reading →

Mini Bottle Gallery in Oslo: A Half-Full Bottle

Continuing on with my series of blogs on “quirky” museums, there is one such museum that was unfortunately closed on the day I went to visit. I wish I had researched their open times better when planning my trip to the Baltic Sea. Alas, I will need to travel there again someday, but at least I was able to get pictures through the windows, and their website contains a wealth of information about them. The Mini Bottle Gallery in Oslo, Norway has a collection of 53,000 mini bottles. You know, like those little bottles of alcohol that you might purchase Continue Reading →

Facts and History of Porcelain in Riga, Latvia

Located in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s city-center is one of the most elegant “quirky” museums that I have walked into during my travels. With more than 6000 faience (earthenware decorated with opaque colored glazes) and porcelain articles, The Riga Porcelain Museum is a definite must-see if you are ever in this city. This museum contains the largest collection of local industrially manufactured porcelain, with objects dating back to the mid-19th century through the end of the 20th century. Displayed are a mix of some pieces that have been mass-produced, while others are one-of-a-kind works of art. The porcelain in Continue Reading →