8 results

Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village

The only grade II listed model village in the UK. Opened in 1937, this one-ninth scale replica of Bourton-on-the-Water features miniature bonsai-style trees and bridges you can cross.

Stand close enough to the two churches to hear their choirs singing. Most satisfyingly, the model village includes a model of the model village, which itself includes a model of the model of the model village.


2 links

The Old New Inn, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire GL54 2AF - Map

2 December 2019

The Bay Model

A working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento to San Joaquin River Delta System, approximately the size of two football fields. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s to study the impact of proposed changes to the delta.

Website | Wikipedia

2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 - Map

23 October 2019

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Established in 1794 during the French revolution to preserve scientific instruments and inventions - including the laboratory of "father of modern chemistry" Antoine Lavoisier who met his fate at the guillotine. The collection today represents three centuries of French craft and invention, including Foucault’s pendulum, the original model of the Statue Liberty, mechanical looms and a delightful gallery of automata including one that belonged to Marie Antoinette.

Website | Wikipedia

1 link

60 Rue RĂ©aumur, 75003 Paris, France - Map

9 November 2019

Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen, the birthplace of the Zeppelin in 1900, now hosts the definitive Zeppelin museum. A full scale partial model of the Hindenberg lets you explore a recreation of the bar, cabins and smokers' lounge. They also have an original engine nacelle from the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and a 3.6 ton Maybach Zeppelin car from 1938, based on the Maybach airship engines and capable of a maximum speed of 170 km/h.

Website | Wikipedia

SeestraĂźe 22, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany - Map

13 November 2019


For 220 years between 1633 and 1853 Japan adopted a strictly isolationist foreign policy, with severely limited trade between Japan and other countries. One of the only exceptions was trade with the Dutch through a trading post on the artificial island of Dejima, first built in 1634 to house Portuguese traders but then repurposed for trade with the Dutch East India Company in 1641.

Isolation ended with the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1858 and Dejima merged into Nagasaki through land reclamation, but in 1922 it was designated a national historic site and intermittent efforts began to restore the island.

Today Dejima serves as a museum: many historic buildings have been restored, and the island hosts a scale model illustrating how it was laid out during the Edo period.

Website | Wikipedia

2 links

6-1 Dejimamachi, Nagasaki, 850-0862, Japan - Map

8 December 2019

Anja Community Reserve

Anja Community Reserve is home to the world's highest concentration of ring-tailed lemurs - roughly 350 individuals divided into troops that range in size up to 30 members.

Development of the reserve started in 1996 when the government enacted legislation to transfer responsibility for land management to local communities. A group of twenty youths from the Anja area worked to create a reserve, and the reserve received formal recognition in 1999.

In 2001 the Anja Miray Association was formed to manage the reserve and nearby land, and by 2011 the reserve had created more than 450 jobs and had become one of the most-visited community managed sites in all of Madagascar. Today it serves as a model for other community-based tourism projects throughout Madagascar and the world.

Visitors must be accompanied by a local guide. The lemurs are plentiful and extremely photogenic.

Website | Wikipedia

10 photos and 2 links

Manambolo, Madagascar - Map

12 January 2020

Palace of Fine Arts

The Panama–Pacific International Exposition of 1915 was a world's fair that celebrated the completion of the Panama canal - but also served to showcase San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake.

Eleven palaces were built for the exposition. All but one of them were torn down afterwards when the exposition site became San Francisco's residental Marina District.

The Palace of Fine Arts was the survivor, thanks to a campaign by the Palace Preservation League founded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst).

The palace was designed by Bernard Ralph Maybeck, who created it as a fictional Roman and Ancient Greek ruin constructed around a small artificial lagoon.

The weeping women who top the colonnade were sculpted by Ulric Ellerhusen, modeled after Audrey Munson. Audrey served as the model for an enormous number of sculptures, initially in New York and then across the United States. She earned the nickname "Panama–Pacific Girl" after posing for three-fifths of the sculptures created for the 1915 Expo.

The palace was not built to last, and the wood and plaster structure seriously degraded over time. In 1964 it was entirely replaced by a direct copy, built using steel beams and light-weight concrete. This was further seismically retrofitted in 2010.

Website | Wikipedia

3 photos and 1 link

3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123 - Map

13 January 2020

Monarch Bear Grove

This somewhat hidden circle of stones in Golden Gate Park has a history that incorporates druids, press barons, Spanish monasteries and the grizzly bear on the California state flag.

William Randolph Hearst spent several decades building the largest newspaper and magazine chain in the world, starting in the 1880s.

In 1889, Hearst sponsored an expedition to capture one of the last remaining grizzly bears in California. The mission was successful, and a bear was brought back alive and put on display in the city. A bear pit was designed by architect William Polk and the bear - named the Monarch Bear - lived in captivity for 22 years, during which time it was used as the model for the bear on the 1911 version the California state flag.

Following the First World War Hearst and other American industrialists competed to snap up as many of Europe's antiquities as they could get their hands on, taking advantage of that continent's urgent need for cash.

Hearst went as far as buying parts of two ruined Spanish monasteries, which he arranged to have disassembled and shipped over to the United States.

Then the Great Depression struck, and Hearst found himself unable to afford the reconstruction of his Spanish monasteries. One of them - Santa MarĂ­a de Ă“vila - was sold to the city of San Francisco on the condition that it be re-assembled into a museum in Golden Gate Park.

World War II intervened with those plans, and the monastery stones ended up scattered around the park for several decades.

At some point, somebody arranged some of the stones into circles, on the location of the old Monarch bear pit. The site is now known as Monarch Bear Grove and is cared for by members of OBOD - the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

Most of the monastery stones were moved up to northern California and used to construct a chapter house near Redding in 2005 - but the stone circles in Monarch Bear Grove remain.

Website | Wikipedia

3 links

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California - Map

15 December 2019