The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum

The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum

After a few short years of an independent Latvian Republic, the country fell to Nazi occupation and the Moscow District area of Riga was turned into a ghetto for the thousands of Jews who had been such an integral part of the national identity.The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum aims to commemorate the lives lost to the tragedy of Nazi occupation

The Museum’s split into three main areas, and is effectively and outdoors exhibit with the displays of Jewish history in Latvia and memorials to the local victims of the holocaust flanked by barbed wire fences and ghetto gates.
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On the grounds, which sit between warehouses, there is also a replica ghetto house which would have been inhabited by around 38 people. The downstairs is a somewhat confusing and creepy display of paintings and hanging dolls, while upstairs is set up like it would have been at the time including newspaper insulation.
ghetto householocaust muralcreepy dollsholocaust ghetto museumriga ghetoo museumholocaust house rigariga ghettonewspaper wallpaper

3,000 Fates Exhibition

The element that really makes this museum worth a visit is the exhibit “3000 Fates” housed in the adjacent warehouse. Here the life stories of the 3000 Jews transported into Latvia from European countries including Germany and Poland are documented on a light box each. This sunning displays put a spotlight on the individuals affected but such a monstrous event in history. Many of these stories end in 1942 at the concentration camps within Latvia.

holocaust exhibitionlatvian holocaust exhibitionholocaust storiesriga-holocaust-3riga-holocaust-4riga-holocaustAdmission to the museum is free but donations are suggested at €5. Opening hours are 10 am – 6pm excluding Saturday. The museum is located at 14A Maskavas Iela.

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Apothecary and 19th Century Medicine at The Old Operating Theatre Museum

Apothecary and 19th Century Medicine at The Old Operating Theatre Museum

The Old Operating Theatre Museum is one of London’s little known gems. Located round the corner from London Bridge station, visitors have to climb up a single width spiral staircase to reach it’s entrance in the garett of St Thomas’s Church. Standard admission is £6.50 for Adults, and while this is pricey for a museum so small, the exhibits are packed in to provide surprisingly good value for money. I was inspired by Sarah’s trip in February, and her target of visiting the Telegraph’a 50 Most Unusual Museums in London.

The Operating Theatre

The namesake of the museum is not front and centre but located round a corner off the main room in the roof space. Founded in 1822, the operating theatre was for female patients only and is now the oldest preserved one in Europe. The most fascinating aspect of this space is that it is a literal theatre, with stands for observing set up in a semi circle around where the operations would have occurred.

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Apothecary and Herb Garret

My favourite part of the museum were the Herb Garrett displays, showing the ingredients and tools used by the Apothecary (a historical pharmacist) during the time of the on site hospital.

apothecaryThese displays show a plethora of natural concoctions and medicinal instructions, reminiscent of potions in a witch’s lair.

Apothecary ingrediantsApothecary recipesApothecary bottlesAt the centre of the main room is the Apothecary station, with beautiful old drawers, cabinets and a set of large scales. Anyone who has watched Friends will understand how great an apothecary table is!

Apothecary tableAlso featured in the Museum are historical medical tools and supplies from the 1800s including canopic jars, medical illustrations and a variety of prongs and forceps used in the hospital.

apothecary toolscanopic jarsvictorian surgeryThe jumble of artefacts on display within the museum creates a ambience similar to a old junk or curiosity shop and may not suit the tastes of all visitors. I personally loved being able to take my time looking at every little jar or device on display. Everywhere you look in the Old Operating Theatre Museum was a delight for the eyes.

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WOMEN FASHION POWER at The Design Museum

women fashion power

“Women Fashion Power” is a current paid exhibition at the Design Museum in London. It showcases the evolution of women’s fashion over the past 150 years, juxtaposed with their position and rights within society.

Curated chronologically from the Victorian era to present day, the collection highlights the changing silhouettes and styles found in women’s clothing. One of the most interesting aspects I found was the details about the Suffragette movement, and their use of colour and strategy to normalise Women’s Rights. From this time period onwards there was an escalation in freedom in the way women dressed,

The central feature of the exhibition was the showcasing of the style of current power women from Business, Arts and Culture. Significant leaders in their field such as Zaha Hadid and Grace Jones have donated the outfits that most make them feel powerful.

Overall the exhibition was enjoyable but not groundbreaking. At times it seemed relatively generic with it’s ‘fashion through the ages’ element dominating as a theme, something that has been done many times in the past. The most interesting elements were the non-clothing items, like magazines and anti-suffragette propaganda.

design museum fashion

WOMEN FASHION POWER is open at the Design Museum until 26th April 2016. Standard Adult Tickets are £12.40.

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Capitan Dulche Museum and Beach Club – Pirate Ship Bar and Private Beach on Isla Mujeres

Capitan Dulche Museum and Beach Club – Pirate Ship Bar and Private Beach on Isla Mujeres

Following on from my previous post about Isla Mujeres, I wanted to go into more detail about the afternoon I spent at Capitan Dulche. This is a unique beach club which mixes relaxation with culture, as it also has a sculpture garden and hosts the only museum on the island.

Like all other attractions from the island, Capitan Dulche can easily be reached by fixed rate taxi or by renting a golf cart for the day. If you order food and drink at the bar the entrance fee is waved and you are welcome to spend all day on the private beach which includes loungers and a volleyball net.

Beach ClubCapitan Dulche Beach ClubBy far my favourite thing about Capitan Dulche is the extremely unique boat bar – you can see the ship’s mast rising up from the surrounding landscape. The style evokes imagery of pirates sailing the Caribbean and the barrels of rum they’d consume.

captain-dulche-isla-mujeresboat bar in isla mujeresThe beach has a small dock that expands out into the bay, providing a scenic walkway or place to sit and watch the local wildlife.

Capitan Dulche Pierwater birdsThe grounds of Capitan Dulche also act as a sculpture garden, with maritime pieces and musical figurines dotted on the dock, grass and hillside. 

isla mujeres Sculpture Garden Isla MujeresThe main building hosts a formal dining veranda that can be rented for events and weddings, while the downstairs is the island’s Maritime Museum. The museum collection includes model ships and items from throughout the local naval history, including details about Mexico’s most famous diver and oceanographer, Ramon Bravo, along with his even more famous contemporary, Jacques Cousteau.

Capitan Dulche MuseumMaritime Museum MexicoI found Capitan Dulche to be a real treat while on Isla Mujeres as it managed to mix the two things I love most while travelling; beautiful beaches and cultural history.

mexican beach path

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