Stuffed frogs at the frog museum in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland

Love Weird Places? Visit Switzerland’s Bizarre Dead Frog Museum

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Tucked away on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, the little Swiss town of Estavayer-le-Lac has a rather unusual claim to fame. Hidden behind a creaking heavy wooden door at the top of some old stone steps is a unique gem of a museum. This museum, the Musée des grenouilles, is a frog museum.

It’s home to a bizarre collection of frogs – one hundred and eight of them. Thing is, they’re dead! How many towns can boast of their very own dead frog museum?

Visit this Swiss town’s very own frog museum. Frogs riding squirrels, drinking wine, carrying rifles – but they’re all dead!

In the mid 1850s, these endearing critters were lovingly stuffed and arranged to create a series of scenes depicting everyday life.

Human life.

Stuffed frogs at the Musee des grenouilles in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland
He who gets to mower down on spaghetti rather than buzzing, hairy flies is a lucky frog indeed.

Interestingly enough, these pint-sized oddities were created by François Perrier, a renowned French soldier who also dabbled in the scientific realm.

His contributions to science were such that his name was one of only 72 to be engraved in commemoration on the Eiffel Tower – though not for his froggery.

Attorneys at Law at the dead frog museum in Switzerland
M. Grenouille and M. Grenouille, Attorneys-at-Law

Monsieur Perrier not only stuffed and arranged the frogs.

He created their miniature furniture, books, dishware, cutlery, and most importantly – wine bottles.

Frogs playing Dominoes at the frog museum in Switzerland
Dominoes, anyone?
Frogs learning to read at the museum of frogs on Lake Neuchatel
What did the frog say about his favorite book? Reddit, reddit, reddit.

For those who aren’t taken with dead amphibians engaged in various industries, the rest of the museum offers a trove of artifacts dating as far back as the 15th century.

Though small, three additional rooms are crammed with a mishmash of period clothes, cannons, barbaric medieval weapons, yellowed books, handmade games, a beautiful sidesaddle, and peculiar firearms with massive butts.

One-person carriage at the museum in Estavayer-le-lac, Switzerland
My favorite is a one-horse carriage for a single adult passenger. It even has a small “bumper” seat in the front for a child.

This modest venue might lack the sophistication and notoriety of larger museums in Geneva and Zurich, but it’s clear that the local residents proudly and lovingly maintain it so that visitors may enjoy it.

We certainly did.

Frog riding a squirrel at the dead frog museum in Swtizerland
Monsieur Frog hitches a ride on Mademoiselle Squirrel.

And if you find yourself wondering,

Why a dead frog collection?

perhaps a better question to ask would be,

Why not?!

Have you visited this museum?

Did you like it? Or would you want to visit? Maybe it’s just too weird! Either way, tell us what you think in the comments below.

More great things to add to your Switzerland travel itinerary.

Know Before You Go
  • The frog museum is small and will likely take less than an hour to visit.
  • Tickets only cost 5 CHF for adults and 3 CHF for students and kids up to 16 years.
  • Information in English is minimal. Most is in French. Just use Google Translate!
  • The frog room is the last of four rooms at the museum and is downstairs.
  • Make sure to check for current hours on their website before planning a visit. They have reduced hours during the off-season. Official website for Museum Estavayer-le-Lac et ses grenouilles
  • Several parking spaces are available for free outside the museum, but it’s limited and they fill up fast. Pay parking on the street is available at nearby stores, but again, parking is limited in this part of town. The town is small though, so if you find parking anywhere, you won’t have too far to walk. Public transit is a good option also.
  • The entrance is located at the top of an exterior flight of stairs and is multi-level inside with another level of stairs to the lower floor. It’s not wheelchair accessible, and if you have a big stroller, don’t bring it.
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PIN, Dead frog museum blog by Two Small Potatoes Travel

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