Wednesday, 10 Aug, 2011 Offbeat

Top Ten Incredible Miniature City Models


Vote for the city you like the most.

Miniature France

Elancourt is a commune located in the north-central France about 30 km from the country's capital. This is the region where tourists can get acknowledged with a part of France's culture and history with the help of a small replica of France. The miniature city occupies a territory of 5 hectares and is enriched with various castles, courts and mansions erected at a scale of 1:30.

One will be able to discover more than 160 small models of French monuments from across the country. For a more realistic appearance designers also decided to include 60,000 miniature human figures, more than 20,000 tiny trees, 5 rivers and even 2 hectares of water. The miniature city allows takes guests on an inexpensive tour around some of the most important regions of France.


To be able to create this incredible replica of Paris, a 29-year-old French designer Gerard Brion required 15 years. He managed to build small models of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, including the EiffelTower, Arc de Triomphe and Sacré Coeur.

All of the buildings included in the miniature replica of Paris were made using a rather strange combination of materials - old concrete blocks, baby food jars and soup tins.

Today his city, located inside the artist's garden in Vaissac, South of France, is a popular attraction among tourists visiting France. More images of the miniature megapolis are available here.

Soviet Moscow

The miniature replica of Moscow was built back in 1977 by 300 people. It occupies an area of 400 square feet and was erected to mark the 60th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The replica represents a very accurate illustration of Moscow of that time.

The team of 300 people who worked on the model was led by Efim Deshalyt, who designed the miniature replica for guests visiting the city. The goal was to impress tourists and show that the capital of USSR was way better than any other capital in the Western world.

The replica is found in Moscow's municipal building. The specially developed lighting makes the small city even more realistic. It would be interesting to note that the lighting varies depending on the time, from daylight to night time. The miniature Moscow is now out for sale, wearing a price tag of $3 million. More images are available here.

Modern Moscow

Another small Moscow was built in 1986. Each year all the structures that make up the replica are carefully cleaned of dust. In addition, workers are continuously replacing old buildings of the city with new ones, thus the model is evolving and suffers small changes every once in a while.

The changes are made as soon as a new structure appears on the streets of the actual city. Thus visitors have the possibility to view not the historical Moscow as it once was but the contemporary megapolis as it is today.

The model can be found in a house located on Brestskaya street in Moscow, near the Garden Ring. It stands on a territory of 144 square meters. More images can be viewed here.


Built of thousands of bricks placed on a hill, the miniature favelas include homes, shops, bars, discotheques, police and its helicopter and of course football (soccer) fields.

Dubbed Morrinho, the replica city features bricks of various colors - red, blue, green - and can be found in the favela Vila Pereira da Silva.

Initially it was just a teenager hobby, but eventually it evolved into an art exhibition, educational tool and a famous brand known around the world, .

Project Morrinho was funded by La Caixa, a savings bank, and was presented not only in different cities around Brazil, but in Vienna, Innsbruck, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Barcelona, Venice and New York as well. [Via Morrinho]

Miniature City of Popular Religious Structures

Constructed by Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey, the small replica features a large collection of some of the most well-known religious buildings. The monk spent 50 years building the replica.

Around the world the miniature city is known as "Jerusalem in Miniature". It represents a nice landscaped park that stands on an area of 4 acres. It encompasses 125 miniature replicas of world's renowned historic buildings and shrines, including Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica, the Monte Casino Abbey, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Hansel and Gretel's Temple of the Fairies and the Abbey Power Station.

Just like the previous project this one started out as a hobby. Initially the monk collected all the materials he was able to find. Today the replica boasts an extraordinary sense of symmetry and proportion. More information is available here.

Shenzhen Window of the World

Entitled Shenzhen Window of the World, the beautiful miniature replica park can be found at the Overseas Chinese Town, in Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

The miniature city includes 130 small models of the world's wonders, historical heritages and well-known scenic sites made at ratios of 1:1, 1:5 or 1:15. All of them stand on a territory of 48 hectares.

The highest building in the city is the Eiffel Tower that is 108 meter (354 ft) tall. Guests can also observe the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, Moscow Kremlin, Tower Bridge of London, England Stonehenge, The Acropolis of Athens, The Colosseum and more, all located near each other. You can click here to get more information.


Those who want to learn more about the Netherlands in a very short amount of time should pay a visit to Madurodam, a miniature replica of the Dutch town of Netherlands.

The small city replica features the same canal houses that can be seen in Amsterdam, Alkmaar cheese market, one of the biggest airports in the world Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (the model was built in 2 years and 4 months due to its complex structure) and a lot of other miniature constructions and landmarks that are typical for this country. Each structure was built at a scale of 1:25.

The official opening of the miniature city took place back in 1952 at the Scheveningen, The Hague in the Netherlands and for almost six decades it has been one of the most popular attractions in the country with millions of tourists visiting the city. It would be interesting to note that the name of the city comes from George Maduro, a soldier who died in the World War II and whose parents funded the project.

The miniature city is continuously developing, with more attractions enriching it. More details about the city can be found here.

Toothpick City

Artist Stan Munro is the author of an amazing miniature city that consists of numerous landmarks that were made of toothpicks. In order to construct such a huge city out of nothing but toothpicks the 38-year-old Munro required 6 years.

So far the number of toothpicks that make up the whole miniature city is 6 million. The former television host also used 172 liters of glue, but his city is still not finished. At the moment the artist is working a miniature wooden replica of Angkor Wat, the most sophisticated building Munro has ever had to create.

It would be interesting to note that all of the artist's works can be observed at the Museum of Science and Technology, in Syracuse, New York. More about the toothpick city can be found here.


Created by Peter Root, Ephemicropolis is a city made of 100,000 stapler pins. In order to make the city, the artist used stacks of staples of different sizes with the longest being 12 centimeters long.

Everything was arranged to resemble a huge city with various buildings that stand on an area measuring 600x300 centimeters.

Root needed 40 hours to complete his miniature city, which is not that much if compared to other small city replicas mentioned earlier. Still this does not make it less attractive. Check out the video below to see how the city was constructed.

The artist's official website.


Sugar City

Artist Meschac Gaba spent two years to create a wonderful miniature city out of sugar. One can observe some of the world's most famous structures made of this sweet ingredient.

It is worth mentioning that the city of sweetness was part of an exhibition entitled Port City and was presented at the Greenland Street gallery in Liverpool in 2007.

Some of the most recognizable buildings in the sugar city were Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye, Petronas Towers, the Reichstag, the Empire State Building. All in all there were 600 buildings standing of an area that measured 30x20 feet.

Biscuit City

Another eatable wonder was created by a Chinese artist by the name of Song Dong. He built a miniature city out of various biscuits in the basement of London Selfridges.

Overall the artist used 72,000 biscuits. Some of them were: Chocolate Digestives, Rich Tea, HobNobs and Fruit Shortcakes.

Visitors had the opportunity to drink a cup of tee and taste the biscuits that were part of the city.

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