Miniature cities replicate some of the world’s most famous buildings in a faithful world of miniature. They offer the ultimate opportunity to feel like Gulliver in Lilliput. In one day you can see the Eiffel Tower alongside the Colosseum or even an entire metropolis. It really is a small world after all.
Located near Houston, Texas, the Forbidden Gardens is an outdoor museum replicating some of China’s major historical sites. The museum its name from two of its major features: A 1:20 scale model of the Forbidden City with hundreds of palace buildings and figurines and the small grounds for walking and viewing additional exhibits. One exhibits show the famous Terracotta Army from the tomb of the first Emperor of Qin. All the 6,000 soldiers and chariots have been replicated on a one-third scale.
Located in Istanbul, Miniatürk is the largest miniature park in the world. The park contains 105 models of historic monuments from Istanbul, Anatolia and former Ottoman provinces done in a 1:25 scale. Two structures of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus are also featured.
The Window of the World is located in the western part of the city of Shenzhen in China. It has about 130 reproductions of some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world squeezed into 48 hectares (480,000 square meters). The 108 meter (354 ft) tall Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline. Other famous monuments include the Pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal.
France Miniature is an outdoor park in the shape of France that contains about 160 outdoor 1:30 scale models of major French monuments and landmarks. The location of the miniature monuments correlate approximately with their real-world locations in France. Many of the models are animated and there are also moving railways, TGVs, ships and sailing boats. The park is closed during the winter.
Housed in a modern five-story building, The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center displays Shanghai’s urban planning and development. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a huge scale model of the city of Shanghai as it will look in 2020. The clear plastic models indicate structures yet to be built, and there are many of them. Visitors can view the miniature city from alongside or ascend to a gallery running around it for views from above.
Tobu World Square is a theme park in Japan housing over a hundred 1:25 scale models of famous buildings, complete with 140,000 1:25 miniature people. It took as many as five years to complete the miniature park. Monuments include the Statue of Liberty, the Pyramids of Giza, Buckingham Palace and St. Peter’s Basilica. On 24 April of this year a scale model of the Tokyo Sky Tree was unveiled at the park. At a 1:25 scale it is still over 26 meters (85 ft) tall.
The smallest city in the Netherlands, Madurodam is a 1:25 scale model of a Dutch city in the Hague. It features traditional Dutch buildings and famous landmarks from around the country. Buildings, markets, canals, windmills, Schiphol Airport, the Port of Rotterdam, Dam Square, the Delta works are all perfectly replicated to the smallest detail. Instead of being a static miniature city, Madurodam is actually full of life. The windmills turn, airplanes land at the airport, trains run through the park and the boats are floating.
The Museum of Roman Civilization (Museo della Civilta Romana) is situated at EUR, a modern city that was the brainchild of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. It’s one of Rome’s most interesting museums, however many visitors miss it due to its remote location. The museum houses a famous scale model of ancient Rome designed by Italo Gismondi. The 20 by 20 meter (66 x 66 ft) large model shows the buildings of Rome in the early 4th century during the reign of the emperor Constantine I. The miniature city is 1:250 in scale and took 36 years to complete. It can be viewed from a elevated platform. The model can be seen in a few shots of the Movie “Gladiator”.
Located next to the original Lego factory, Legoland Billund is the largest tourist attraction in Denmark outside Copenhagen. At the heart of Legoland Billund is Miniland, a miniature Lego city with famous tourist spots and attractions. There are moving Lego parts such as bridges, boats and trains that make Miniland even more realistic. The attention given to Miniland is so intricate that every block fits exactly where it should be.
The Queens Museum of Art is home to the amazing Panorama of the City of New York, a scale model of New York City built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The 9,335-square-foot (867.2 m2) architectural model includes every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs. The total of 895,000 individual structures took three years and a team of 100 people to built. In 1992 model makers changed over 60,000 structures to bring the miniature city up-to-date. In March 2009 the museum announced the intention to update the panorama on an ongoing basis. The twin towers of the World Trade Center will be replaced when the construction of the One World Trade Center is complete.