Web site lists 'great miniature cities'

Dec. 4, 2009 at 4:53 PM

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Australia's Abingdon Miniature Village topped a California-based travel Web site's list of "Five Great Miniature Cities."

VirtualTourist.com said the four-acre miniature village in Mandurah, Australia, is notable for the inclusion of a maze, a model train town, mini golf and models of historic buildings from Britain.

Italia in Miniatura in Viserba di Rimini, Italy, was named second on the list for offering visitors a giant's-eye view of Italy. The Venice section, which features 119 buildings, took nine years to complete.

The miniature city of Madurodam in the Netherlands was built in 1952, in part as a tribute to World War II hero George J.L. Maduro, who died of Typhus in the Dachau concentration camp. The miniature city is famous for its beauty when the lights are activated at night.

The fourth miniature city on the list, Miniatur Wunderland of Hamburg, Germany, features scaled-down replicas of monuments from the United States and Europe and employs more than 150 people to keep it running.

Finishing off the list was the Swissminiatur, in Melide, Switzerland, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The miniature features replicas of Swiss monuments set against the backdrop of real mountains.

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