Owl Museum, Larnaca
I was doing some research for an article for a travel site I contribute to, and came across an owl museum in Larnaca, Cyprus. It houses the largest collection of owls in Europe. What a niche subject for a museum! The collection belongs to Holy Bishop Kitiou and consists of 5704 ornaments and pictures. Frustratingly, however, I haven’t been able to find out much more than that. (If anyone has been, please let me know – I’d love to hear about your visit.)
I can completely understand why someone would have a fixation on these beautiful and mysterious birds but I got to wondering firstly if it’s the only example of an owl museum, and secondly are there any other serious owl collections out there?
Owl Museum, Penang
The first one I came across is the recently opened Owl Museum in Penang, Malaysia. They sum up on their Facebook page just why owls are such interesting creatures:
Owls are fascinating birds, and humans seem to relate to owls more than any other bird. The reason for this is that owls are the only birds which have forward-facing eyes. This unusual facial structure gives them the appearance of having ‘facial expressions’ and endears these birds to human cultures.
This cute museum has over 1,000 pieces of owl-related odds and sods in its art and craft collection which features examples of owl artwork made from materials such as crystal, metal, twigs and stones from around the globe. They also sell gorgeous owl-themed rings, bracelets and ornaments. Owl Museum, Penang Details Address: Astaka, Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia Website: www.theowlmuseum.com
Owl Art & Craft Museum, Seoul
Another international collection of all things owl, including folding screens and stamps. Owl wallpaper decorates the walls and visitors are treated to a free cup of tea from the lady owner who has gathered together over 2000 items in this one-room museum. Just as an aside, Seoul is also the home of the wondrous Museum of Chicken Art. Owl Art & Craft Museum details Address: Seoul-si Jongno-gu Samcheong-dong 27-21
The Owl House, South Africa
This isn’t all about owls, but they certainly feature. Helen Martins, the lady who owned this house started in 1945 to create William Blake-inspired sculptures to give a bit of life to her boring surroundings. The owls, camels, people and other creatures are made from cement, crushed glass and wire,and the walls of her house are covered in the same material. Martins unfortunately began to lose her sight because of exposure to the glass and killed herself by swallowing caustic soda at the age of 78. Owl House details Address: Nieu Bethesda, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Born in Belfast and now living in London, Julie McNamee is involved in internet marketing as a day job and blogging as a hobby. She’s interested in all things quirky and Fortean, as well as art, photography and theatre. Her blog Quirky Travel, specializes in London and Paris top tips and off the beaten path information with subjects such as London film locations and unusual Paris museums.