St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica is no longer only a pilgrimage site for the religious, but also for all the Wunderland visitors, wanting to get a closer look at the model building masterpiece.

One of the many highlights of every visit to Rome is probably St. Peter's Basilica. This impressive pontifical Basilica is a sight we didn't want to keep from our Wunderland Italy tourists. So it was out of the question that it would play a major part at the center of our Italy section, alongside St. Peter's square.

Since the Vatican didn't want to share their blueprints with us our model builders had to get creative and reconstruct the building from a thousand pictures. It took 6 months to draw a CAD model on the computer, based upon which we constructed an assembly kit that had to be not only put together by hand, but also dyed, vintaged, decorated and finished with detailed ornaments. It took roughly 22 months to assemble this miniature masterpiece from an estimated 22,000 single pieces.

If you don't look too closely you will not see, that we were not absolutely accurate with regards to scale. You can hardly tell the difference in the horizontal scale of 1:130 and the vertical scale of 1:100.

Should you visit the original St. Peter's Basilica in Rome it is recommended to do so on a Wednesday, in order to witness the popes' general audience. At the Wunderland, however, you are more likely to get lucky any day of the week. Our pope will reliably be on the balcony, waving to the pilgrimage crowd. Maybe he is taking his time, since his pope-mobile is currently stationary, due to a flat tire. You may discover equally funny details, if you look at the dome more closely. It turns out our designer may have been a huge fan of Super Mario and may have replaced the trolls head above the decadently decorated windows with Mario's head. Admittedly, you may need super sight to spot this, or a magnifying glass, but maybe you might just have one at hand.