1. Robert Moses’ “Panorama of New York”
Currently located in the Queens Museum, this 1:1200 model from 1964 contains 895,000 buildings, 3,172 colored lights, and it consists of 273 different parts. It took over 100 workers three years to build on this 9,335 square-foot surface. Here, one inch equals 100 feet.
2. Shanghai Model at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Museum
The exhibition hall’s goal is to show how Shanghai has excelled in city planning and construction, and this mesmerizing 1:500 scale model makes it pretty clear that they’re doing something right.
3. This scene from LEGOLAND in Günzburg, Germany
LEGOLAND Germany has more than 50 ride attractions and was built using about 55 million LEGOs. Before the park’s opening in May of 2002, 140 model designers spent three years planning and executing this marvelous achievement.
5. The Neuschwanstein Castle Model at the Adventure World Railway in Austria
This castle (and its surroundings) were built in 2003 on a surface of 300 m². Visitors can watch as trains travel about 600 m of rails that pass through cities, over mountains, and around castles like this one.
6. The Hogwarts Castle
This 1:24 scale construction of everybody’s favorite wizardry school appears in all seven of the Harry Potter films. According to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour website, “[Building it and altering it for all seven movies] was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years.”
7. Italo Gismondi’s Model of Imperial Rome during the Age of Constantine
To celebrate the birth of Augustus, Mussolini hired Gismondi and his incredible eye for detail to build a 1:240 scale of Rome between AD 306-337. The project lasted from 1933 to 1937 and is 55 feet wide.
8. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela from Mini Europe, in Brussels
If your dream is to cram all of Europe into one trip, “Mini-Europe” in Belgium is the place to go. This particular 1:25 scale model is built on the site where the remains of the Apostle Santiago el Mayor were found, and it was completed in 24,000 hours.
9. This Beijing Model of City Planning in the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall
Built on a scale of 1:750, this model of the metropolitan city covers an expansive 302 square meters. It’s made of plastic and wood, and it only took 150 workers one year to build and cost over four million yuan (or around $660,000).
10. The “New City” in Dubai’s Cityscape 2008 International Real Estate Exhibition
In 2008, the real estate firm Meraas Development revealed its plans to rebuild the Satwa area of Dubai and create this “new city.” The project was estimated to cost $95 billion.