In just under an hour, a walking tour through the Jaca Citadel Military Miniatures Museum can take you from ancient chariot warfare in Egypt to the massive rolling tanks of World War II. Created with over 32,000 lead pieces, each under an inch high, the museum chronologically documents the most important battles of human history.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Carlos Royo-Villanova collected every miniature soldier he could find. Roman warriors with red plumage and long shields stood face-to-face with members of the Tsar’s army. His collection grew to 35,000 pieces, and in 1984 the city of Jaca, Spain, purchased the collection and began a display. In 2001, the collection was moved to its current home in the Jaca Citadel, where the Ministry of Defense authorized the creation of the Military Miniatures Musem.
At the museum, visitors walk through 23 dioramas from vastly different parts of world history. Although the museum covers world events, the general focus is on Spain’s involvement. including the local Kingdom of Aragon. With the intention of educating, the last few displays show modern military activity by the Spanish army. For those who cannot make the trip to Spain, the museum’s website offers a live stream of the displays.
Know Before You Go
There are daily buses from Zaragoza and Huesca and regional trains from Madrid.