A musical flush from the world’s first museum of toilets

A musical flush from the world’s first museum of toilets


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2014

David Conway reports for Slipped Disc from the unique Museum of Toilet History in tower no. 5 of the 19th-century Kiev Fortress.


In Kiev one must go with the flow – thus a chain of circumstances left me flushed, but relieved. 

The most famous toilet in musical history is doubtless the one on which Max Reger wrote to a critic “I am sitting in the smallest room of the house. I have your review before me. Soon it will be behind me.”

Alas this moving event is not recorded at the museum. It does however contain a good run of cloacal artefacts from ancient history to the present day. The guide at the museum takes you at a brisk motion in Russian (though she also has a dribble of French) from Mohenjo-daro to the present day.

I was delighted to see full credit paid to the British pioneers of the lavatory, including Cumming (inventor of the S-bend and flush), Bramah and the immortal Thomas Crapper. The modest entry fee of 20 hryvnia (10 p) includes use of contemporary facilities if required. In all, a satisfying outing.