Miniature Walcheren – Middelburg, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Middelburg, Netherlands

Miniature Walcheren

A 1:20 scale piece of the Netherlands commissioned by a queen lets visitors take a stroll as giants. 

If visitors find touring the actual Netherlands city of Middelburg too tiring, they can simply visit Miniature Walcheren, a startlingly accurate 1:20 scale recreation of many of the city’s most famous buildings. 

Built in 1954, the miniature city blocks were made completely out of wood by a force of over 600 volunteers from the surrounding community. The tiny town was originally commissioned by the then Queen of the Netherlands herself, and was intended to remain on display for only three months, but after the number of visitors exploded during its initial opening, the exhibit’s life was extended to a full year, before being moved wholesale to a nearby theme park where it stands to this day.

The little city contains over 350 buildings, 200 cars, and even 30 boats, each built and painted in realistic detail as though there is a mini-population just waiting to come to life. From Middelburg’s city hall to the elaborate cathedral, the most famous landmarks are represented along with moving trains, and even a little boat that lights on fire at the push of a button. In fact since being moved to the park, the miniatures have had tiny people added to give it an even more life-like feel.