Miniature Parks across the Globe
Monday, 29th October 2007 by James Turnbull
Miniature parks and model villages are sort of like a pre-internet 3D Google Earth, allowing you to view a representation of a village or city sights from above.
So it’s no surprise that on visiting my local park, Bekonscot Model Village in Buckinghamshire, I was more excited than a 5-year-old let loose in a sweetshop. As I stomped around the 1930s English villages I wondered if I could see the park on Google Earth?
Sadly, the resolution of Bekonscot in Google Earth just isn’t high enough to make out any of the lilliputian houses, trains or airplanes. However, I discovered the village is a founding member of the International Association of Miniature Parks, and many of the other member parks have great resolution.
So, today we are going to explore International Miniature Parks, where we’ll see the best sights on the globe, just smaller and more fuzzy!
Mini Europe is located in Belgium but features sights from the whole of the European Union including Big Ben, Mount Vesuvius, the Berlin Wall (complete with falling action) and the Eiffel tower (pictured in the thumbnail).
At just 926 km² Rügen (Germany’s largest island) is only 2/3 the size of London, but if that’s just too much area for you to cover you can instead explore the tiny Rügen island at Rügen Park, located on the island of Rügen.
Sardegna in Miniatura
Another miniature island within itself is Sardegna in Miniatura, which reproduces the Italian island of Sardinia.
Swiss Miniatur aims to “summarise Switzerland” in miniature form. Clearest in the Google Earth image is the Swiss Alps, located in the north-east of the park.
Italia in Miniatura
Back to Italy, Italia in Miniatura is located on a man-made island in the shape of Italy (of course), and features the country’s most famous landmarks. Look to the north of the mini-country and again you can just about make out the white peaks of the Alps.
Despite being a mini-Italy, they also have special section for a mini Eiffel tower. The resolution is too poor to make it out, but you’ve probably seen it enough already!
For completeness, the other members of the International Association of Miniature Parks not featured today are the low-resolution Mini Israel, Miniatuur Walcheren, Pueblo Chico, Klein Erzgebirge, Miniature World, Catalunya in Miniatura, Pirenarium, and the previously featured excellent resolution Madurodam.