Organized by Madeleine de Galea during the 19th century, the collection at the Monaco National Museum: Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear has been called one of the creepiest in the world. Exhibits inside of the Charles Garnier-designed villa include a seemingly endless display of costumed characters in beautiful clothes displayed alongside miniature household items.
Originally stored in de Galea’s personal mansion, the collection grew so fast she was forced to purchase the house next-door for extra storage space.
In addition to the thousands of period dolls, the museum houses a large collection of automatons. You can see the intricate wind-up creations at any time during the museum’s regular hours, but if you sign up for a tour, the guide will likely activate many of the pieces. Some of the dolls double as automatons, breathing, sighing and playing the piano.
Outside of the museum, visitors enjoy a rose and sculpture garden.
- The Worldwide Traveler: Welcome to Monaco: http://www.theworldwidetraveler.com/destinations/europe/monaco/
- HotelClub Travel Blog: "The Five Creepiest Museums on Earth" (April 2009): http://blog.hotelclub.com/creepiest-museums/
- Monte Carlo Museums: http://www.monte-carlo.world-guides.com/monte_carlo_museums.html
- Maps of World Travel Portal: National Museum of Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear: http://travel.mapsofworld.com/monaco/fontvieille-tourist-attractions/national-museum-of-automatons-and-doll-of-yesteryear.html