Lithuanian Ethnocosmology Museum – Kulionys, Lithuania - Atlas Obscura
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Kulionys, Lithuania

Lithuanian Ethnocosmology Museum

The first museum dedicated to exploring humanity's cultural relationship with the celestial world. 

At this unique museum, visitors are immersed in a world that blends the celestial realm with everyday human life.

The Lithuanian Ethnocosmology Museum, officially established in 1990, is the world’s first museum of its kind. It’s both a sky observatory and museum dedicated to highlighting humankind’s cultural relationship with the cosmos.

The museum originated the word “ethnocosmology,” which explores society’s many visual, emotional, ethnic, cognitive, and spiritual connections to the celestial world. The multidisciplinary topic delves into past, current, and future links between people and the cosmos.

The museum was founded to store, preserve, and disperse information about the newly invented discipline. Its creators were particularly fueled by a desire to explore Lithuania’s cultural connection with the stars, Sun, and Moon.

The building itself incorporates celestial themes into its architecture and design. It takes the shape of the Cosmic World Tree, with an underground gallery as its roots and a spacious glass observatory at its top. Its insides are full of ethnocosmological information, which encompasses anything from texts, images, symbols, art, and technology relating to the heavens. There’s also a telescope, which lets people gaze skyward and rekindle their own relationship with the cosmos.