In Hamburg, Germany, in the middle of the warehouse district, is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, Miniatur Wunderland. For the past 10 years, visitors have been able to behold 1300 square meters of meticulously appointed models of Middle Germany, Austria, Hamburg, Switzerland, Scandinavia, the US, Italy and the imaginary region of Knuffingen, the project is the passion of twin brothers Frederik and Gerrit Braun, who have welcomed more than 15 million visitors.
For the past two years, Miniatur Wunderland has been voted the most popular attraction in Germany in a survey run by the national tourism board, and the waiting time to get in sometimes exceeds two hours. The term “model railway” is inadequate, however, as Miniatur Wunderland is a diorama of supreme detail and breathtaking beauty. It’s a faithful reproduction of many facets of human endeavour coupled with great imagination. There’s a port with tides and cruise ships that dock, fire engines that race to burning buildings, Mount Vesuvius erupting and the space shuttle launching. Night falls every 15 minutes and the scenes are illuminated by about 390,000 lights.