Madurodam – The Hague, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura


A miniature city, once ruled by the Queen of the Netherlands. 


Madurodam is a miniature city located in Scheveningen, The Hague, in the Netherlands. It is a model of a Dutch town on a 1:25 scale, composed of typical Dutch buildings and landmarks, as are found at various locations in the country. This major Dutch tourist attraction was built in 1952 and has been visited by tens of millions of visitors since then.

The miniature city was named after George Maduro, a law student from Curaçao who fought the Nazi occupation forces as a member of the Dutch resistance and died at Dachau concentration camp in 1945. In 1946 Maduro was posthumously granted the honor of Knight 4th-class of the Military Order of William, the highest and oldest honor in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, because he had distinguished himself in the Battle of the Netherlands against German troops. His parents donated the money to start the Madurodam project.

On July 2, 1952, a teenaged princess named Beatrix was appointed mayor of tiny Madurodam, after which she was given a tour of her town, which only took a few minutes. While she started small, Beatrix went on to big things and became the Queen Regnant of the Netherlands in 1980. When Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands, she relinquished her function as mayor of Madurodam. Today, the mayor of Madurodam is elected by a youth municipal council consisting of 25 pupils from schools in the region.

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