Follies: Humans Wasting Cash For Kudos

On September 5, 2014 by Lazer Horse

Vajdahunyad Castle, Hungary

Folly - Vajdahunyad vára Budapest - Hungary

Originialy built of cardboard and wood this impressive folly was designed using four different building vibes: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. It was initially built for a laugh from 1896-1908, but it proved so popular that it was built out of proper building materials from 1904-1908 and is now used as a museum.

Overbury’s Folly, India

Folly - Overbury's Folly India

Overbury was a British Judge who served in Thalassery in southern India in the 1870’s. Although designed as a private picnic spot it has since been taken over by the local public who enjoy relaxing there, so that’s nice.

Conolly’s Folly, Ireland

Folly - Conolly's Famine Folly Ireland

In Ireland, so-called ‘famine follies’ sprung up during the potato famine. The high society of the day didn’t like handing out cash without it being earned, so the rich would commission pointless building works to save the lives of the poorest people.

Roads were built in the middle of nowhere that led from nothing to nothing, piers were built on bogs and walls were erected for no good reason. My initial feelings were “why don’t you give the starving people the cash rather than make them work on an empty stomach?” But some proud folk probably weren’t keen on hand-outs either, perhaps some preferred to earn their keep?

Conolly’s Folly is one such famine folly. It was commissioned by Katherine Conolly along with other works on her estate to employ hundreds of poor people when the famine was at its worst in 1740 and 1741.

Gardens of Bomarzo, Italy

Folly - Gardens of Bomarzo Orcus Mouth

Otherwise known as the Garden of Monsters, this place looks pretty mad. Built in the 16th century the gardens were designed to shock and by all accounts they did the job pretty well. There’s a wealth of gigantic and grotesque statues of elephants and dragons. Among the statues are nestled the occasional folly:

Folly - Gardens of Bomarzo Leaning House

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