I visited the Reykjavik Penis Museum in Iceland in March 2016
I did not know what to expect, when I heard of the museum I knew I had to go, see what it was, take a look at my share of penises for a long time.
It was easy to find, there was a large sign outside, as well as a giggling group of American tourists looking through the windows. The Icelandic Phallological Museum, better known as the Reykjavik Penis Museum. I went inside the building, up to the counter. Paid for entrance, walked into the museum.
Founded in 1997 by retired teacher Sigurður Hjartanson, the museum first opened in Húsavík, some 480km north of Reykjavik. When Sigurður’s son Hjörtur took over the running of the museum in 2012, he had it moved to Reykjavik.
Today the museum has the largest collection in the world of penises and penile parts on display. Several offers to purchase the museum has been made, so far Hjörtur resists, claiming the museum has to be in Iceland and has to be run by him.
The Reykjavik Penis Museum isn’t particularly big. One room, walls covered with penises, more displays in the middle of the room. You were given a small booklet with information about the different objects on display.
The Museum contains a total of 280 penises, from almost 100 species. They differ in size from 170cm to 2mm. Some are dried and preserved, others preserved in jars of formalin. The room is filled with penises. They are everywhere. On the walls, on displays on the floor. Even the lamp shades are made of foreskin.
Seeing all the penises on display was a bit weird. What should I do? Should I study them, look closely at them, find the differences between the species? Should I just quickly walk through the exhibit, take a quick look at the obects on display? I ended up walking a round randomly, looking closely at a few exhibits, only glancing at others.
The museum’s quest to obtain a human penis looked like it ended in 2011. Several men have already donated their penis upon their death, in 2011 the first one of them died. The penectomy following his death was not totally successful though, the penis shriveled and was left in a greyish-brown mass. The museum curator hopes to be more successful next time.
After about half an hour I had seen it all, I was bored. There is a certain limit to how long you can walk around and look at different penises before you grow restless. I headed out of the museum, quick stop in the gift shop, bought a book, a shot glass and some souvenir condoms. Headed back out onto the windy streets of Reykjavik.
The Reykjavik Phallological Museum is a cool gimmick, something funny to visit when travelling. How much educational value it has, I am not sure, and it is probably not the place you want to bring the whole family to. I enjoyed my visit, but it will be a while before I return.
The museum is located in Laugavegur 116 in Reykjavik. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm in the summer and 11am to 6pm in the winter. Admission is 1250 kronur.