Religion is a significant subject around the world and religious pieces are often found in art museums and other kinds of attractions. There are sites devoted solely to an aspect of religion and offer a glimpse into historic and cultural artifacts, such as religious texts. However, in this article, you will learn about two museums that focus on odd topics of religion.
The Purgatory Museum – Rome
Situated in the Prati district of Rome, you will find the Church of the Sacred Heart, where a small museum is located behind a side altar. Named the Purgatory Museum (or known as the Souls of Purgatory Museum), the exhibits center on documented instances where souls in purgatory are believed to have come back to earth and haunt the living. It is stated in Catholic religious text that when an individual dies who has only slight sins on their soul, they enter a stage in afterlife called purgatory, where they are sent to become cleansed by fire before they are able to reach heaven.
The museum was the brainchild of a French priest who traveled throughout Belgium, France, Germany and Italy – in search of items that are now seen on display. In 1912, the priest actually died in the museum, and nothing has been added since his passing. Every year, the museum brings in about 4,000 visitors.
On display, you will encounter a table bearing scorch marks and unexplainable lines. There are bed linens and clothes where fingerprints have been burned onto. There is also a book that has an entire handprint scorched deeply into the pages.
You will find the museum located at Chiesa del Sacro Cuore in Prati, Lungotevere Prati 12, Roma. It is free to browse the exhibits.
The Devil's Museum – Lithuania
In the town of Kaunas, Lithuania, you will find a museum devoted to the devil – called the Devil's Museum (or the Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Velnių Muziejus, if you're from the region). There are three floors to roam about with more than 2,000 exhibits centered on devils that come in a range of sizes, shapes, colors and materials. Here, visitors encounter the largest collection in the world of devils in one place. The large piece of the collection belongs to a personal collector named Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, whose pieces are arranged on the first floor.
To the Lithuanians, the devil does not pose the same vision of negativity as he does in other parts of the world. In their text, he is described as a man who is similar to humans. He has the desire to marry a woman, make friends, and has a charming, intelligent personality.
Some of the features of the museum include:
• Bizarre-looking Shrovetide masks
• Items that hail from various Slavic countries, such as Russia, Poland and Ukraine
• Numerous statures and figurines of the devil
• Artifacts and objects with the devil, including ashtrays, plates and pipe – they are made out of wood, stone and clay in various black and red types.
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