Small Wonder The outsized joy of model villages.

Small Wonder The outsized joy of model villages.

  • Words Stephanie d’Arc Taylor
  • Photograph Clément Pascal

Benjamin Franklin, take note. There are actually three things that are inevitable in life: death, taxes and the universal adorableness of tiny objects. From babies and puppies to mini jars of Bonne Maman preserves, it’s only the most incorrigible grump that doesn’t squeal (at least silently) at the sight of all things small. 

This inescapable truth is part—but not all—of the reason behind the appeal of the model village, a phenomenon that started in England in 1929 with Bekonscot Model Village and spread throughout Europe and the world. Out-of-context miniature monuments—like the Blue Mosque and Temple of Artemis at Istanbul’s Miniatürk—may be faithful renditions. But model villages depict not just mini buildings and people, they also show a model way of life.

Apart from...

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