The Story Behind Switzerland's Wacky Frog Museum

Some see a beautiful frog, Francois Perrier saw a taxidermic opportunity
Some see a beautiful frog, Francois Perrier saw a taxidermic opportunity | © Couler/ Pixabay
Sean Mowbray

If you’re curious about taxidermy and the unusual exhibitions that can be created with a collection of stuffed animals, you have to visit the Frog Museum in Estavayer-le-Lac in Switzerland – it really is one of a kind!

A visit to Switzerland’s Frog Museum in Estavayer-le-Lac is one you certainly won’t forget. You’ll see 108 stuffed frogs chugging down bottles of beer, getting a trim at the barbers, playing dominoes, riding on the backs of squirrels and generally having a good time.

Francois Perrier is the brains behind this odd exhibition. Perrier was a soldier in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army and he had a penchant for collecting amphibians. But as with so many fascinations, his particular hobby veered towards the weird. Many of us would look at a free-roaming frog hopping about in a pond and wonder at the beauty of nature, or perhaps notice how slimy and gross it is. Francois Perrier, however, saw a little more – he saw a taxidermy opportunity.

Creating a collection

After his soldiering days were over, Perrier collected frogs while out on country walks, and killed, gutted and stuffed them with sand. He also crafted miniature furniture sets and outfits and preceded to style the frogs in the everyday situations you might have seen back in the 19th century.

The result is a fascinatingly bizarre taxidermic showcase, the disturbing highlight being the aforementioned squirrel-riding frog picture above. Fleshing out the exhibition space is a collection of 200 or so military lamps and military equipment spanning the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The fact that this has nothing to with taxidermy escapes us too!

All in all, the Frog Museum is a bizarre romp through history. If you haven’t been put off yet,you’ll find the frog museum in Estavayer-le-Lac on Lake Neuchatel, between Yverdon-les-Bains and Neuchatel.

Le Musée des Grenouilles, Rue du Musée 13, 1470 Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland, +41 026 664 8065

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