Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear – Monaco, Monaco - Atlas Obscura
Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear is permanently closed.

Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear

Monaco National Museum

Thousands of costumed dolls fill one of the world's creepiest museums. 


Organized by Madeleine de Galea during the 19th century, the Automatons and Dolls of Yesteryear collection at the Monaco National Museum 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 can enjoy a rose and sculpture garden.

Know Before You Go

From the train station, take the 4 bus toward Saint- Romain. Stop at Place des Moulins and tale the elevator down to Avenue Princesse Grace.

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August 9, 2010

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