Catalunya en Miniatura

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Coordinates: 41°21′32″N 1°59′9″E / 41.35889°N 1.98583°E / 41.35889; 1.98583

Model of the Sagrada Família temple at Catalunya en Miniatura

Catalunya en Miniatura (Catalan pronunciation: [kətəˈluɲə əm mini.əˈtuɾə], in English "Catalonia in miniature") is miniature park inaugurated in 1983 in Torrelles de Llobregat, 17 km from Barcelona. With 60.000 square meters, 35.000 of them devoted to the scale models, it is one of the largest miniature parks in the world,[1] and the largest of the 14 miniature building exhibitions present in Europe.[2] It displays 147 models of palaces, churches, bridges and other buildings from Catalonia and Mallorca and it includes all the major works by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí.


Model of the Port del Comte ski resort inaugurated in 2008

The first concept of creating this park came from Hans (Johannes A.) Lorijn, who had been involved in the construction of Minimundus in Austria and who later also designed and constructed Mini-Europe in Brussels. Fernando de Ercilla Ayestarán made a trip to Madurodam in 1981 which inspired him[2] and as he knew about Hans Lorijn's plan, he joined the project becoming one of the shareholders. After the opening more financing was needed and Mr. Ercilla obtained all the shares.[citation needed] The laying in place of the first stone was done on May 6, 1983, presided by the mayor of Torrelles, the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Jordi Pujol, and the Catalan minister Joan Rigol, who was born in Torrelles.[3] The park was open on that same year.

In June 1985 Nicolau Casaus, vice-president of FC Barcelona, laid in place the first stone of the Camp Nou and Mini Estadi scale models.[4]

Fernando Ercilla, manager of the park, inaugurated in 2008 a scale model of the Port del Comte ski resort, which became the largest model exhibited in the park.

Technical data[edit]

General view of Catalunya en Miniatura

Catalunya en Miniatura has a total of 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft), 35,000 m2 (380,000 sq ft) of them devoted to 147 scale models and 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft) for parking and services. Visitors follow a single path where the models are installed sorted by the geographical comarcas (counties) of Catalonia, and its four provinces (Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona).

The scale models area includes 5,000 m2 (54,000 sq ft) of grass, 4.500 plants, 450 trees, 600 bonsais, 35 palm trees and more than 3.000 seasonal flower plants. It includes waterfalls, fountains and lakes decorated with 400 tons of stones. Nowadays the park has an amusement railway, 940 meter long, used by visitors along the external perimeter of the scale model area.[1]

Construction of models[edit]

The scale models construction process includes several stages. At first, the architectural drawings of the building or monument are used to create new drawings at a scale 1:33 in the case of Barcelona city and 1:25 for the other buildings. The precision demanded by model makers requires highly accurate drawings as well as detailed photographs. After that, the model makers start working on the structure that will hold up the model. Doors and windows are created using silicon moulds where polyurethane is injected to obtain the desired shape.[1]

When the building or monument has stone walls, there are two methods to do the engraving, either with previously engraved parts, or by directly engraving the walls of the model. After that, the cornices, balusters and handrails are added, and finally, the roof, which has one side that can be open to be able to access the electrical installation, because all models have their own electrical illumination.[1]

Once the construction is finished, the model is painted using special paints that can resist atmospheric phenomena and temperature changes. At the location where the model is to be installed, the foundation is laid building a brick wall around the perimeter of the model, leaving an empty space inside where sand and stones will work as a filter for the rainwater, which goes away through a pipe connected to the main drainage. Finally, the finishing activities include gardening, streets, streetlights and decorative elements such as cars or persons.[1]

As examples, the scale model of the Sagrada Família church required 13.000 hours of work from 6 persons, the Montserrat mountain 5.000 hours of work from 3 persons, the Camp Nou stadium 4.000 hours of work from 3 persons, the Monastery of Poblet 2.000 hours of work from 3 persons, the Cathedral of Lleida 1.000 hours of work from 2 persons, and the Torre Galatea (Dalí Theatre and Museum), 500 hours of work from 2 persons.

Scale models exhibited[edit]

Barcelona city[edit]

Barcelona province[edit]

Girona province[edit]

Lleida province[edit]

Tarragona province[edit]


Antoni Gaudí works in the rest of Spain[edit]


External links[edit]