Five Obscure but Enthralling Attractions to Visit in Pittsburgh
If you’ve visited Pittsburgh before, and you’ve seen some of the highlights such as the Carnegie in Oakland and the National Aviary on the North Side, you may want to take your visit deep as well as wide. Here’s five obscure, but super interesting and quirky, sights to see in Pittsburgh! Check our Priory Hotel and Mansions on Fifth Hotel’s Packages pages, as we feature overnight packages which include visits to some of these attractions!
- St. Anthony’s Chapel (Troy Hill): St. Anthony’s is reputed to have the largest collection of saints’ relics (read bones) in the world next to the Vatican. Perched atop the North Side neighborhood of Troy Hill, its apse features hundreds of relics on display. For more information, visit here.
- Randyland (Mexican War Streets): What started out as a whimsical way to decorate a house has transformed into an installation art exhibit which draws travelers from around the world. Owner Randy Gilson is an artist, philosopher and community advocate who has organically populated his North Side home with whimsical art, from graffiti to brightly colored artifacts. A highlight is meeting the energetic Randy himself! You can learn more about Randyland here.
- Nationality Rooms, University of Pittsburgh (Oakland): The Nationality Rooms in the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning are marvels. Sponsored by Pittsburghers of the many ethnic heritages which make up the Pittsburgh community, the Nationality Rooms are working classrooms which are available to tour either by appointment, or one can wander around on one’s own. The classrooms each take on the flavor of their ethnic sponsors, and provide a powerful insight into the culture and history of the nations which they reflect. You can find out more about the Nationality Rooms here.
- St. Nicholas Church (Millvale): Tucked away in a nearby suburb of Pittsburgh, St. Nicholas Church is best known for its murals created by Croatian artist Maxo Vanka, whom David Byrne of the Talking Heads referred to as the “Diego Rivera of Pittsburgh.” In 1937, Vanka was commissioned by the pastor of St. Nicholas to paint a series of murals depicting Christian themes. The result is visible to this day, and it continues to wow visitors to this beautiful enclave. You can find out more about St. Nicholas Church here.
- Bayernhof Museum (O’Hara Township): Located just up the Allegheny River from Millvale in suburban O’Hara Township, the Bayernhof museum was the home of a wealthy collector of automatic music machines named Charles (“Chuck”) Brown. When Brown died in 1999, he willed his home to become the Bayernhof (Bavarian House) Museum, which features his eclectic collection of music boxes, calliopes and other automatic music devices. The museum and former mansion feature extensive, beautifully maintained grounds and hallways and rooms with various quirks, such as secret passages. See more about the Bayernhof Museum here.