Posted by Meg on 8:21 PM No comments

Mini-Europe is a miniature park located at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. It has the reproductions of the most attractive monuments in the European Union on show, at a scale of 1:25.

The park contains numerous live action models (train, mills, eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Airbus, cable cars, etc). A guide gives the details on all the monuments. At the end of the visit, the “Spirit of Europe” exhibition gives an interactive overview of the European Union in the form of multimedia games. The park is built on an area of 24,000 m². The initial investment was of €10 million in 1989, on its inauguration by Prince Philip of Belgium.

The park was created in 1989 and features 350 monuments and live action models, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, an erupting Mount Vesuvius, and Big Ben including its famous chimes. The buildings represent roughly 80 cities in the EU, most of which were financed by their respective countries or regions.

Building the monuments

The monuments were chosen for the quality of their architecture or their European symbolism. After this initial selection process, plans and photos needed to be found.

This stage cost over €200,000 in research. Most of the monuments are made using moulds. The parts are made from various types of material, and then copied using silicone moulding. The final copy used to be cast from epoxy resin, but now polyester is used. Three of the monuments were made out of stone (e.g. the tower of Pisa, in marble).

A new computer-assisted milling procedure was used for two of the models. Though the buildings might be small in size, much attention to detail has been paid in their creation. With the exception of a few stone structures, most of the monuments were created using a silicone mold and epoxy resin or polyester casts.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela took 24,000 hours to build, and the Grand Place of Brussels cost roughly €350,000 to complete.


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