In order to modernize the center of the town, the main square (Torvet) is currently under renovation. But with the diggings came something absolutely outstanding : a golden ring from the Middle Ages ! The discovery has been made by Martin B. Nielsen, in connection with the Museum Lolland-Falster.
The ring carries a figure of the Virgin Mary and Jesus and is dated from the second half of the 14th century. It was pressed down between the stones of an old pavement and has probably been lost.
Just in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Virgin Mary was very popular. The ring may have belonged to both a man and a woman, and not necessarily a person from the church. It was part of the personal worship of religion, and the ring has been of great importance to the owner.
A secret door, a hidden room… During renovation in 2017, the little Museum of Nykøbing Falster discovered in the building a hidden room, filled with old crates and various notes and drawings. It turned out to be the legacy of the former owner of the old house, Cornelius S. C. Rödder. Be sure to read this story until the end… some things might not be quite as they seem…
Born in 1821 in Nykøbing Falster, Rödder was the son of a rich upper-class family from a noble German lineage. He studied medicine in Copenhagen. In 1856, during a trip in Italy, he found some strange writings and very unusual specimens. He later met the famous Thomas Merrylin, a London-based crypto-naturalist and xeno-archaeologist. That’s when his focus turned towards the Dark World and the occult, leading to an incredible cryptozoology collection we can see today at the museum. Vampires, fairies, baby dragons, werewolf… Welcome to the Museum Obscurum !
We start our journey into the dark world by exploring various mysteries, from Harry Potter’s story to Mary Shelley’s quotes.
We then enter in Cornelius S. C. Rödder’ universe by arriving in his living room where there is a little spiritism alcove. Ouija boards were very popular around 1900, helping people to connect with their loved ones who died during wars.
In his study room, Cornelius gathered numerous strange findings, like odd stuffed animals, as well as prehistoric and medieval artefacts.
From there, we finally have access to the Dark Room, whose entrance is cleverly hidden behind the library. Here are some of the most interesting specimens found by Rödder.
Draco alatus, the Dragon
Most commonly known as “Dragon”, Draco alatus is a species of membranous winged theropod dinosaur. It is said it is the member of a theropod family that survived the extinction event 65 millions years ago.
Here you can see a specimen of a human infant skeleton, with a peculiar disformity on the skull, forming two large cranial horns. According to Merrylin’s diaries, this is the result of the mother’s abuse of narcotics.
The Forest Child
This tiny skeleton was found in 1891, in a tomb on the Peninsula of Osbora. It is supposed to be a creature that was worshipped.
Homo lupus, The Lycanthrope
Also know as “werewolf”, this specimen of Homo lupus belongs to a species of bipedal hominid, related to both Homo sapiens and Homo vampyrus (the vampire). The wolf-like characteristics might be the result of a genetic mutation caused by a virus. This very specimen is a 15 years old female, who probably died of starvation. She was the last piece collected by the anthropologist Edward Harrell who worked alongside Thomas Merrylin.
This Ichtyosapien is fish-like species, closely related to mudskippers (Periophthalmus).
The Ship Elf
Also called “Klabauter man”, the ship elf is a good spirit. He helps discovering weak spots on the ship by knocking the wood with his club. Cornelius S. C. Rödder found this one in Norway.
That’s not all…
Across the numerous rooms of the museum, you can encounter other disturbing sights, and discover some mysterious writings.
Could all that be true ?
Actually, the Museum exhibits some specimens from the well known Merrylin Cryptic Collection. His amazing collection is the work of a Londonian illustrator and sculptor, Alex CF. Few years ago, CF’s fictional work took internet by storm, after the publication of a viral story about “mysterious skeletons found in a basement under an old London orphanage”.
In 2017, the Nykøbing museum acquired some of his cryptid sculptures and imagined a fantastic and dark scenography, by Leif Plith Lauritsen and Erik Kristiansen as well as Museum Lolland-Falster’s employees. Their work won the Historic Day’s Renewal Award, a prize “to honor the innovative, surprising and different ways of conveying history and making history accessible to more people”, as the organization writes in their webpage.
Originally opened in the early 1900′, Den Gamle Købmanshandel (The Old Shop) at Færgestræde 1A is a must see in Nykøbing Falster. It is located right in the heart of the town. It is part of the Lolland-Falster Museum, in the same building as Czarens Hus (The Tzar’s House).
At the beginning, the customers could buy everything that was needed in the daily household: food, clothes, tools, paints, spirits, beer and soft drinks, clogs, spices, chocolates, sweets, bicycle tires and even tar. Later in 1955, a merchant called Jørgen Skaaning bought the store, which was given as part of the Museum.
It hasn’t changed ever since ! Along with some old products exhibited to show Nykøbing’s history, you can buy fresh coffee, Viking mead, handmade candies, locally made brushes, old toys, books about the town’s history, and plenty of other interesting goods. You can also find some seasonal products for Christmas or Easter.
At the counter, this is also the Tourist Information desk, and where you buy the tickets for the Museum. The shop is open from 10.00 to 16:00 Mondays to Fridays, and only to 14:00 on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays, and there might be some changes during holidays. You can see the opening hours here.
In the same building as Czarens Hus (The Tsar’s House) and Den Gamle Købmandshandel (The Old Grocer’s Shop) lies the little museum of Nykøbing, at Færgestræde 1A. Here are some pictures of their main exhibit that lasted several years, about all the memories of the town and the island of Falster : remains from old shops, costumes, various objects, furnitures, tools, toys… You can see how people lived in Nykøbing Falster in former times !