Museum of World Funeral Culture
Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia
There is perhaps no better place to contemplate one’s mortality than the furthest reaches of Russia, where a deathly cold breeze blows across Siberia nearly year-round. In the region’s unofficial capital of Novosibirsk, you’ll also find one of the only museums in the world devoted to the exploration of global funerary practices, the Museum of World Funeral Culture.
Its collection boasts thousands of paintings, drawings, photographs, engravings, and objects exploring themes of death and, of course, dead people. Exhibitions include a stylish showcase of hundreds of mourning dresses dating from as far back as the 14th century and the architecture of 19th-century cemeteries, crosses, and tombstones. But the museum is just one part of owner Sergei Yakushin’s greater Disneyland of death, which also comprises a factory that produces “mourning industry” wares, displays of urns, caskets, model hearses, a memorial park and research library, and a crematorium he continues to own and operate. The morbidly delightful compound also plays host to Necropolis — Tanexpo, an annual fair of ceremonial rites and services.