Activities, History and museums
Mini-Europe is a miniature park located in Bruparck at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. Mini-Europe has reproductions of monuments in the European Union on show, at a scale of 1:25. Roughly 80 cities and 350 buildings are represented. Mini-Europe receives 350,000 visitors per year and has a turnover of 4 million Euros.
The park contains live action models such as trains, mills, an erupting Mount Vesuvius, and cable cars. A guide gives the details on all the monuments. At the end of the visit, the “Spirit of Europe” exhibition gives an interactive overview of the European Union in the form of multimedia games.
The park is built on an area of 24,000 m². The initial investment was of €10 million in 1989, on its inauguration by Prince Philip of Belgium.
The monuments were chosen for the quality of their architecture or their European symbolism. Most of the monuments were made using moulds. The final copy used to be cast from epoxy resin, but now polyester is used. Three of the monuments were made out of stone (e.g. the tower of Pisa, in marble). A computer-assisted milling procedure was used for two of the models.
After painting the monument was installed on site, together with decorations and lighting. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela required more than 24,000 hours of work.
Many of the monuments were financed by European countries or regions. The Brussels Grand-Place model cost €350,000 to make.
Ground cover plants, dwarf trees, bonsais and grafted trees are used alongside miniature monuments, and the paths are adorned with bushes and flowers.