Slovenia, the small Central European country claims more than just the President-elect’s wife, Melania Trump. It also happens to be extremely rich in a heritage that to some may seem a little odd, and definitely just slightly creepy.
Ljubljana Castle, resting just above the capital town of Slovenia, plays host to generations of puppets that were used in some of the most interesting and captivating plays in Slovenia’s history. The castle is used as a museum that allows it’s visitors to interact with the puppets and take in the past that they represent.
Plays include renditions of famous stories and creative educational tools to teach about death and dying. The tour guide Aleksander Jovanovic states:
“In the past year and a half since we opened the museum, we have never had a disappointed visitor.”
Slovenian puppetry began in 1910 with Milan Klemencic’s staging of Dead Man in a Red Coat, and later with his rendition of Doctor Faustus. His puppets still hang in the halls of the Ljubljana Castle and Jovanovic says:
“The level of craftsmanship, love and dedication behind it are overwhelming.”
Many great puppeteers have performed plays in this Slovenian town and the people truly feel they give something extra to the messages portrayed on the stage. Edi Majaron, for the 2014 World Puppetry Day, stated:
“Puppets don’t hate, they are not envious and they are not mean. They say everything that needs to be said in a way that doesn’t hurt us.”
Apparently, the museum is more than just a boring display of case after case of wooden figures hanging gingerly from their strings. How could a museum that greets it’s patrons with jars of movable puppet heads be boring in the least? Jovanovic agrees and states:
“I’ve seen families with kids come to the museum, and the children had their noses buried in their smartphones. But as soon as they discovered that they can touch and move the puppets, they forgot all about their phones.”
You had me at castle full of creepy puppet heads. Where do I sign up?
Featured image via Two Backpacks No Plan.