Located in the Speicherstadt of Hamburg, Germany, is one of the largest, most technologically advanced miniature worlds. The creation of this gigantic model world was birthed out of an idea by Frederik Braun in July 2000, while visiting Zurich. As he was visiting a railway model shop, he was reminded of a childhood dream he once had of building the largest model railway in the world.
He and his twin brother, Gerrit, who are night club and music label owners, crafted an internet survey, through which they queried over 3,000 persons with varying socio-economic backgrounds. They listed about 45 attractions, some being fictitious, of which the Miniatur Wunderland was one. They asked the respondents what attractions they would be inclined to visit on a sight seeing tour of Hamburg. The Miniatur Wunderland came in third for men voters, but was at the bottom of the list for women.
They decided to pursue the project anyway and went to their bank with a sketch of their plan drawn on a standard letter-sized piece of paper. Their intent was to ask to borrow 2 million D-Mark to start the project. They were confident that the bankers would laugh them out of their office, but to their amazement, the loan was granted. Other investors also became infected with the idea and signed onto the project and construction began.
The original layout of Miniatur Wunderland was around 3,230 square feet. Today it is over 14,000 square feet and new designs are planned well into 2020. The investment in the project to date has totaled about 10 Million Euro (about $13,481,000).
Below is a video of this very popular Hamburg sight-seeing attraction. It’s rather impressive.