They call it Casa de la Ciencia, the House of Science, but it’s more like a House of Horrors.
Rich and I were passing through Seville’s Maria Louisa Park on Saturday morning and noticed the open door. We knew the building, the spectacular Peruvian Pavilion from the 1929 Latin American Expo, but we never realized it was a museum. Unsuspectingly, we stepped inside.
The main hall is filled with exhibits that look like they belong in the laboratory of a mad scientist. Yes, those are stuffed armadillos, and the jars hold baby armadillos, a clutch of bats and a chipmunk, suspended in some viscous liquid. Egad! Moving on...
The next grisly exhibit is more like a mortuary: bird corpses, laid out on a slab and labeled with toe tags.
All that’s missing from this one is a chalk outline. And for some reason, they sealed up the victim’s beak with scotch tape. Torture? Gang initiation gone wrong? A warning to others not to talk?
Oh my God, Fluffy! What have they done to your eyes? Your beautiful lynx eyes?
At the back of the exhibit room lies this holy of holies. We were far too terrified to ascend the steps and confront whoever or whatever was the mastermind behind this monument to unspeakable practices.
Rich went back to the first exhibit. “Wait, is this one moving??”
We fled back out into the light of day, vowing we’ll never, ever go back.
This is a famous set of tiles on the outer wall of San Pedro’s church in Seville, depicting people suffering in purgatory so they can eventually get into heaven. I love the way that nobody seems to be in real torment; some appear irritated while others merely look bemused, as if they were at a rather peculiar cocktail party, naked, and flames happened to break out. Anyway, the artist of this particular work liked to use a small bird as his signature, and he tucked one into this busy scene. Legend has it that if you can spot this bird, you’ll soon be married, IF you want to be. Don’t worry, if you’re NOT in the matrimonial market, you won’t find yourself marching down the aisle just because you happened to spot the bird. Still looking? Hint: The bird is not where you think. Need more help? Click here.
I'm an American writer living in Seville, Spain and traveling the world with my husband, Rich. We've recently completed a five-month Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour, exploring the world's favorite cuisine to discover more about European culture — and our own.
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