Saturday, April 4, 2009

France Miniature

France Miniature is a 5 hectare (12 acre) outdoor, miniature park in the shape of France located in Élancourt (Ile-de-France, Yvelines) featuring 1/30th scale models of major French landmarks and monuments.

If you are planning a trip there, make sure you check the weather forecast. There you are in an outdoor park (albeit small) and it's not like you have shelters all over the place (there's a souvenir shop and restaurant you can run to in case it rains hard, so it's not too bad). So my advice is to dress appropriately and make sure you bring the sunblock and water on hot, sunny days.

This park is educational (history, geography) as well as highly animated with famous French buildings, water scenes, bridges, with trains moving throughout. Let the pictures - taken a few years ago - speak for themselves (trust me, there are many more things to photograph):

Saint-Tropez.

Sacré Cœur Montmartre, Paris.

Hôtel des Invalides, Paris.

La Rochelle.

Fort Boyard.

Cimetière marin de Colleville.

Château Chenonceau.

Place Bellecour, Lyon.

Arènes Arles.



View Larger Map
Viewed from (way) above, it is truly a miniature France!


Allow 3 hours to fully enjoy everything. There is wheelchair access.

An indoor exhibition features extremely detailed models of several indoor scenes.

The park is generally open from February to November.

Hours of operation:
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. During July and August, the hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Hours of operation vary from September to November. Last admission to the park is 1 hour before closing.

Park Fees:
Go to France Miniature for the most updated information. As of 2009 the fees were:
General Admission, 18.50 Euros (not too cheap, but what can you do?); Under 14, 12.50 Euros; Under 4, Free. Add 1 Euro each during July and August.

Address:
France Miniature, 258 Route du Mesnil, Boulevard André Malraux, 78990 Élancourt, France. Phone: 33-0-826-30-20-40 (if you want to call from the US of A, add 011 before 33).

Directions:
In car from Paris - Take A13 toward Rouen then take A12 toward St. Quentin-en-Yvelines/Dreux. Follow signs to Élancourt and France Miniature. By train from Paris – Use Montparnasse or La Défense stations. Take the train to La Verrière then take the 411 bus which stops at France Miniature. Be sure to ask about a combination ticket that combines the France Miniature entrance fee and the train ticket at the train station if you decide to come by train.

France Miniature is owned by the same group (Grévin & Cie.) that operates the Parc Astérix amusement park north of Paris.

As always, be sure to verify times, prices, dates etc....before departing on your visit.

More info can be found on the France Miniature official website.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful pictures, thank you.
    This is quite fascinating as I
    was not aware of a France in miniature.
    The pictures look authentic.
    I have visited a miniature of Holland once
    at Madurodam, many years ago.

    Thank you for posting.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Sandra. We had so much fun visiting here. The details in the scale models are amazing. I encourage everyone to visit here if they get a chance.
    Lille

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you remember any songs in French by a French or French-Canadian female singer about this Park? I think it was in the 1990s - it was called "Miniature" or something. I loved the song, but can't remember who sang it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apologies for taking so long to reply. I asked my husband (he is the French citizen in the family here in the USA) and he does not know of such a song. BUT, he has lived all of his life in the USA in the 90's to now. Interesting....will need to research. If you find out, let me know.
      Thanks for your question.
      Lille

      Delete