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.

wine 2 (121 x 200) wine 1 (150 x 200)

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%.

wine 3 (156 x 200) wine 4 (150 x 200)

The second collection was in the Norwegian Pharmacy Museum, which displayed shelf after shelf of apothecary-related items, and covered the history of pharmacies in Norway from 1595 to the 20th century.

pharmacy 1 (200 x 157) pharmacy 2 (200 x 146)

I actually also saw a similar museum, the German Pharmacy Museum, located in the Castle of Heidelberg, which had over 20,000 objects celebrating the 2,000 year-old history of the pharmacy and medicinal sciences. All quite, quite fascinating!

pharmacy 3 (200 x 114)


I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed discovering quirky museums during my travels. I mean, after all, where else would I have…

…learned that Baltic Amber, the “Gold of the North,” is petrified resin and sap from deciduous trees, that grew in Northern Europe over 30 to 90 million years ago…

…experienced “the souls of church bells,” where some believe that church bells have souls that are transmitted through their materials…and I believe through their sounds…

…realized that shoes are more than just footwear to protect our feet – they are social indicators, telling of taste, style, prestige, personality, and that “shoes have the power, the vanity, and the magic“…

…researched that coats of arms were used for visual identification, could signify heraldic achievement, or were designed to convey feelings of power and strength…and discovered that the dragon is a symbol for “a valiant defender of treasure“…

…found out about the “facts and history of porcelain in Riga, Latvia,” including that porcelain is made by heating raw materials in a kiln with extremely hot temperatures between 2,192 and 2,552 F…

…been brought back to my childhood while looking at all kinds of games and dolls and stuffed animals and toys, including the art form of paper dolls, as “I remembered playing with those toys“…

…seen three decades-old Latvian fire engines, and thought about fire safety, including the “stop, drop and roll” technique…

…calculated approximately 704 gallons of liquid contained in thousands upon thousands of mini bottles, and had the attitude of “a half-full bottle“…

And where else would I have seen on display over 250 color varieties of amber; a few dozen of the 500 church bells in all of Estonia; 330 pairs of shoes and boots; coats of arms that were 100’s of years old; 6,000 pieces of porcelain; paper dolls dating back to the 1880’s up till the 1970’s; a Latvian fire station build around 1911; and 12,500 mini bottles, but all in quirky museums?

In defining the word “quirky” some synonyms are “original, individual, unusual, eccentric, peculiar, and idiosyncratic.” I really thought that each and every one of these museums was also fascinating, educational, interesting, unique, and truly a lot of fun!

I recommend all these, and any other quirky museums you might encounter in your travels! In fact, if you have any you have visited that you would like to share, feel free to write a comment about them.

Sweet (and Quirky) Travels!

All photos by Debby (except German Pharmacy Museum postcard photo)

Excerpts from Europe: "I'm in Italy!"
Coats of Arms in Latvia and Estonia: A Valiant Defender of Treasure

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

  1. Yes, someday the quirky search will resume. Although,even in our local cities and towns, without traveling far at all, I know that there are quirky museums to be explored.

    Oh, and about the bears – nothing to do with quirky museums. I just happened to see three bears on three different hikes within the past month. Don’t worry, sis, I stayed clear of them!

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