Testut-Latarjet Museum – Lyon, France - Atlas Obscura

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Testut-Latarjet Museum

Nicknamed the "Museum of Horrors," this French anatomical collection has been fascinating visitors for over a century. 


Like many medical and anatomical collections, the Testut-Latarjet Museum in Lyon, France is filled with rare, gruesome examples of physical oddities and aging experiments. But this may be one of the only of its kind that is specifically designed to look a little creepy. 

While the collection contained in the Testut-Latarjet Museum has been on display since 1854, the collection has been coming together since 1789. The collection itself was established by a group of doctors who broke off from the local university and founded the Lyon National Society of Medicine, an independent organization devoted to cataloging the medical history of the area.

After starting the museum in the mid-1800’s it continued to grow pulling together reconstructed bones, exploded preserved organs, fetuses in jars, and even expanding to contain dinosaur bones, mummies, and a whole section devoted to crime.

Because it is independent of the university system, the collection became the only one of its kind in the country to be entirely open to the public. When the museum was restored in 1992, the project set about to make sure that the collection retained its feel of a curiosity collection of yesteryear. In other words, keep it creepy. To this day, the macabre medical collection attracts lovers of morbid anatomy as well as scientists and researchers who use the museum as a home base.

Since 2015, the collection has been moved to an old military base in neigbouring village Rillieux la Pape. Due to its new location’s smaller size, only part of the exhibition is now available to the public. 

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For more information on visiting the museum, visit their website

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