Places to visit in Europe

France Miniature

France Miniature visitors will feel like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. In just one glance, they will discover the finest jewels of the architectural and historical heritage of France.

The France Miniature Park is in the shape of a relief map of France, spread over an area of 5 hectares. It is animated by planes, trains, ships and cars. Certain monuments are illustrated by a sound track and music. In short, it is an entire country on a reduced scale, making it a lively lesson in geography.


VISITING ALL OF FRANCE IN A FEW HOURS, YOU CAN MAKE IT !
 
At France Miniature, about fifty model makers and landscape architects have reconstituted on a scale of 1/30 exact replicas of historical monuments, typical villages of certain regions and scenes from everyday life in France.

From the Eiffel Tower to the Château of Versailles, from Fort Boyard to the Stadium of France, from the Château of Chambord to the Arena of Arles, visitors will discover many different facets of French geography, history and architecture.

Given the wide variety of historical monuments and picturesque villages in France, it was a very difficult task to select one hundred of the most attractive sites and present them in the manner of a photo album (but in relief). These monuments and villages form the memory of France, they are the deep roots of the country and relate more than 2000 years of its history. Here are some of the monuments displayed at France Miniature :

La Tour Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel in just 26 months. It took 12,000 parts, 3,000 workshop drawings, 700 engineering plans and 2,500,000 rivets to raise this structure weighing 7,000 tons and measuring 1,050 feet high. It was inaugurated in March 1889, at the Universal Exhibition. It caused a violent polemic, meeting nearly unanimous hostility from the Parisian artistic world.
The Eiffel Tower is a masterpiece of lightness. It is astonishing to realise that the Tower is actually lighter than the cylinder of air that circumscribes its contours and that the pressure it exerts on the ground is that of a man sitting on a chair. At France Miniature, the Eiffel Tower weighs 3.2 tons and is 33 feet high. It was assembled using a helicopter and is painted with the same paint as its "big sister".

L'abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel
Legend has it that in the 13th century, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared in a dream to Saint Aubert, the Bishop of Avranches, ordering him to build an oratory on a small island of granite separated from the mainland by the great tidal storm of 709 and henceforth surrounded by the sea. In the Middle Ages, the Mont-Saint-Michel became a major place of pilgrimage.
Another legend tells that a pregnant woman on a pilgrimage to the oratory, which had since then become a Benedictine abbey, was surprised by the tide and called on the Archangel for help.
He separated the waters before her. In recognition, she called the child born soon afterwards 3Peril" and the abbey then became 3Mont-Saint-Michel at Peril of the Sea". Nowadays, the bay is silting up, threatening the Mont-Saint-Michel with again being attached to terra firma like 1,200 years ago. This model is impressive as it shows the rocky outcrop, the entire village, the ramparts and three levels of the Abbey, a concentration of all styles of western religious architecture.

Le Château de Chambord
This is the biggest, the most extravagant and the most magical of the Châteaux of the Loire. At France Miniature, all the three most famous Châteaux of the Loire are represented, with Chambord, Chenonceau and Azay-Le-Rideau. Built by François I from 1519, it shows perfect architectural unity.
The construction of this masterpiece surrounded by the royal hunts lasted thirty years and occupied 1,800 workers, swallowing up huge investments. The model, made of wood with resin for the mouldings, needed 3,000 hours work. All the sculptures, the mouldings and assemblies that were needed to build this model make it quite outstanding.

Educational visits
 
A guide book will be sent to you as soon as the reservation for your group is confirmed. On arrival at the park, an educational booklet will be given to each child. This comprehensive booklet, containing a number of questions for your pupils to answer, describes the highlights of French history region by region.


France Miniature also offers several package tours for school groups, combining a visit to another attraction (for example, the Musée Grevin, the Château de Thoiry Zoo ...) with a visit without guide to the park. For further information, please call the number below. You can also ask for a guided tour of the park.
 
Preparing for your visit
 
RESERVATIONS

France Miniature
25 Route du Mesnil, F-78990 ELANCOURT
Tel.: +33 1 30 62 40 78
Fax: +33 1 30 51 64 87

Length of visit: 3h
Last ticket: 16h
Recommanded age group: all ages
Catering Facilities: picnic area, snack kiosk
Parking: 1 000 spaces, free
 
 
Useful address

 
Comité Départemental du Tourisme des Yvelines
Hôtel du Département
F-78012 VERSAILLES
Tel. : +33 1 39 07 71 22
Fax : +33 1 39 07 85 05

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