Felicity Long
Felicity Long

Valentine’s Day is typically an opportunity for purveyors of travel to go all out with romance experiences designed to lure amorous couples, and this year was no exception.

Champagne on arrival, chocolate-dipped strawberries, couples massages -- all the usual suspects were widely available across the industry.

But in reality, some people hate Valentine’s Day, especially the lovelorn, the newly single or -- a variation on that theme -- the recently dumped.

Croatia's capital, Zagreb, feels your pain.

Specifically, its Museum of Broken Relationships, located in city center and open year-round, devoted to the detritus left over from love affairs gone wrong.

Once a temporary installation, the museum became so popular that it eventually morphed into a permanent fixture in the city. Exhibits vary widely from just plain sad, like a wedding dress and dead roses, to overtly hostile, such as the “ex axe,” which, fortunately, was used on the ex’s furniture rather than on the ex herself.

Most exhibits are accompanied by an explanation of their troubled history, although some, like the pink handcuffs, are left to speak for themselves. 

The museum itself was founded by Drazen Grubisic and Olinka Vistica, a former couple, who can be congratulated for channeling their break-up frustrations into such a positive venue.

By the way, if you’re still mad at an ex, you can donate your own keepsakes to the museum’s ever-growing collection.

As to its location, Zagreb strikes me as an appropriate city to offer this kind of attraction. Despite being Croatia’s capitol, the destination has traditionally been overlooked, kind of like the girl who doesn’t get asked to dance, because it’s been overshadowed by her prettier rivals along the Adriatic coast.

The good news is that Zagreb has been blossoming into a beauty in its own right in recent years, with noteworthy art galleries, restaurants and nightlife. And like the rest of the country, Zagreb is acquiring serious chops as a wine destination.

In short, there is much to enjoy here -- even if you’re single.

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