he incredible Miniatur Wunderland was started in 2000 by Gerrit and Frederik Braun; twin brothers who loved to build train tracks. Now, almost 20 years later, the passion project has become one of the top tourist attraction sites in all of Germany, attracting over a million tourists yearly.
“ITS THAT TWIN GENE, THIS ALWAYS COMING TOGETHER AGAIN, AND WANTING TO DO SOMETHING TOGETHER”.Gerrit Braun, on Working Miniatur Wunderland with his Twin Brother
The team completed the first three sections within a year after it cost 60,000 person-hours and was spread over 3,000 square feet. The project has since progressed, and it’s been 19 years after the first section was completed. Wunderland has employed over 300 people for a whopping 923,000 hours spent on construction.
Miniatur Wunderland has cost over $38,750,000 with its beautiful display of trains, railroads, planes that lift off the ground, fire trucks, trees, LED lights, cars, figures and incredible landmarks from cities all over the world. The jaw-dropping display contains over 1000 trains, a total extravagance of lights. It is a diorama of supreme detail. You will be overwhelmed by the sheer size and appearance of the display. It is a faithful reproduction of many facets of human endeavor, coupled with great imagination. Here are five incredible facts about the Miniatur Wunderland!
Miniatur Wunderland’s Attention to Detail
If there’s anything evident from the Miniatur Wunderland, it is the attention to detail that is the base approach to its construction. The model world includes everything relevant to its design. As long as it is a part of the Wunderland, expect it to be extravagant. There’s a port with cruise ships that dork, fire engines racing to stop disasters, and a volcano erupting. It’s a whole combination of some of the most reaction-worthy parts of the modern world as we know it.
Miniatur Wunderland has 16,000 square feet layout size, 9 theme worlds, 15,400 feet of track length, 1,040 trains, over 10,000 railway cars, 1,380 signals, 3454 switches, 389,000 LED lights, 4,340 buildings, 263,000 figures, 9,250 cars, and 130,000 trees.
Besides, one thing you will be overwhelmed by when you walk into the setup are the incredible details and scenes playing out between the figures. For instance, in Switzerland, you’ll see Superman going to save a car that is crashing through a barrier. In Austria, a nude couple is sunbathing. These and so many more make the Miniatur Wunderland utterly delightful.
9 Theme Worlds
The Wunderland has nine different theme worlds from various countries, including a fictional one. The layout of the building doesn’t start with the first theme world the brothers’ built. Instead, it begins from Italy — with Venice as a subsection. Afterward, you have Switzerland, Central Germany and Knuffingen, Austria, Knuffingen Airport, Hamburg, United States, and Scandinavia.
Italy is a 2000-square foot region and contains 10,000 trees, 450 buildings, and nearly 50,000 microscopic LED lights. Rome has the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Terivi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, and the Spanish Steps.
Venice is separate from Italy because they weren’t constructed at the same time. In Switzerland, the DJ Bobo Concert is live and impressive, plus life-like mountains and valleys litter the landscape. You can even see the underground caves and the subterranean Porta Alpina train station. Central Germany gives you a picturesque view of life in rural Germany. You have an array of small villages, farms and an open-air theatre where Romeo and Juliet perform.
Knuffingen is filled with more excitement, with about 400 cars driving through the streets, and fire trucks rushing to put out fires. The Knuffingen airport has 52 planes making 250 flights a day! The aircraft come out of a hole in the wall and some return to the skies through another hole in the far wall. Hamburg has the Elphi, and the USA has the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Area 51. To top it all, Scandinavia uses about 8,000 gallons of actual water in its design!
The Miniatur Wunderland is filled with many wonderful sights. Excruciatingly detailed pieces of different imaginary creations from real-life scenarios are what make up the incredible model site. As expected, the Germany-located Wunderland holds several records. It has since won the Guinness world record for the largest model railway in the world. The length of the train set is enough to get you to the top of Mount Everest and 6 meters back down the other side!
Use Google Street View to Explore
In 2016, Google built a miniature version of its street view car to capture footage of the Miniatur Wunderland. Google worked with Ubilabs, a mapping software company, to capture the colossal model world. Unfortunately, the miniature streetcar they built couldn’t get any actual footage, so they mounted tiny cameras on the cars and trains in the setup. You can now see several areas within the exhibit on Google Street View.
Some examples of the details captured by the cameras include the road outside a replica of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, a county fair in central Germany, and an Oktoberfest celebration that is just as rowdy as it is in real life. There’s also a miniature version of Las Vegas, complete with dozens of cars, gamblers, the bright lights and miniaturized statues Las Vegas is famous for.
Thanks to Google Street View, you can see different details you might not have noticed even if you paid all of the setups your utmost attention.
Nighttime View of the Wunderland
Every fifteen minutes, the Miniatur Wunderland goes through a day and night cycle. During the night cycle, all 389,000 LED lights come on, and this makes all the difference. Some of the details look infinitely better at night. For example, the handheld flashlights at DJ Bobo’s concert are much more visible at night. Mount Vesuvius also has a beautiful nighttime surprise, as lava rolls down towards Pompeii — just like the real thing. The beauty of the Alps is more magical at night, with the Alpine houses lit from the inside to look inhabited!
Miniature Wunderland is nowhere near done with ambitious plans for expansion by its owners, as their creative passions evolve. However, the overall goal of the model railway site is to have theme worlds from all over the globe.
Wunderland is usually open from about 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the opening hours vary. Sometimes, the tourist attraction site opens till midnight. All in all, the Miniatur Wunderland is an incredible place that adults and children, whether they are train enthusiasts or not, will enjoy. We hope you plan to see the Wunderland soon — and remember to book your tickets in advance!