Curious Fact of the Week: Where Miniature Soldiers Outnumber a Town - Atlas Obscura
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Curious Fact of the Week: Where Miniature Soldiers Outnumber a Town


Jaca, Spain has a population just over 13,000, but about 32,000 soldiers call the Pyrenees town home. However, this formidable army is less than an inch tall.

article-imageMiniature elephant warriors (via the Jaca Citadel Military Miniatures Museum)

The Jaca Citadel Military Miniatures Museum holds these hordes of lead soldiers, arranged in chronological dioramas from chariot battles in ancient Egypt to the rumbling tanks on the fronts of World War II. The soldiers were collected by local history buff Carlos Royo-Villanova, who started amassing all the tiny soldiers possible in the 1960s. He had over 30,000 by the 1980s when the whole platoon was bought by the city of Jaca. In 2001, the display was relocated to the Jaca Citadel, a pentagon-shaped 16th century fortress. 

article-imageMinuscule military procession (via the Jaca Citadel Military Miniatures Museum)

The 23 dioramas have a focus on the Spanish army, but also have an international inclusion of a variety of military engagements. Included in painstaking arrangements are the wars of Greece, Rome, the Crusades, the Crown of Aragón, the Napoleonic wars, and into the 20th century, all at a 1:87 scale. 

 Halberstadt, Germany

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