Northern Germany, especially the East Frisia (Ostfriesland) region in model scale? This is exactly what the Leeraner Miniaturland (liternally: Leer Model Land) is offering to visitors. When my wife and I were traveling in that region, we ran into some marketing for this place and just had to visit it. Here are my thoughts about the visit.
Leeraner Miniaturland – Location & Admission
The Leerander Miniaturland is located West of the city of Leer is East Frisia. By that, it is right between the core part of the city and the A31 motorway. From the Leer-West exit, it is only a short drive to the attraction. As far as I could see, there is no public transport connection nearby.
Typically, the model train landscape is opening daily apart from Mondays, 11:00 to 17:00 hrs. At my visit, opening times were limited to the weekends due to Covid-19. An adult admission is 15 Euro.
Leeraner Miniaturland – East Frisia Exhibition
The original exhibition at Leer is the East Frisia (and adjacent areas) exhibitoon. It is a really large place, featuring day and night changes. There are touch panels around the whole exhibition which allow the visitor to interact with the models and make some of them move or light up. The cities are not in the absolutely correct geographically correct arrangement, but the level of detail is really nice. I also enjoyed all the small storied told within that model landscape.
To me, this part of the visit had some real highlights, like some castles and all the facilities around the Meyer-Werft (giant shipyard) in Papenburg. Other cool sections of the landscape are a fun fair, a rock festival next to the shipyards or a soccer stadium. I also loved that they feature the Pilsum Light Tower, one of the most famous ones in the region (due to a German movie). The space was still in expansion when we were visiting The Leer Model Land.
Thus, cities like Westerstede (which are strictly not even a part of East Frisia any more) might look even better when you are visiting the place. I like the way they arranged the exhibition. You at least learn a bit about the places in display. While the East Frisia hall is quite packed, this second ground floor exhibition space does have potential to grow.
Some Mobile Displays – And East Frisia At Night
The scale modeling landscape also drives some smaller dioramas, which are transportable.One, for example, shows a large shopping mall of the area. Other displays showed East Frisia islands.
For the night time simulation, the exhibition’s light is slowly turned down and the lights of the houses become visible. I feel they did a really good job here, the atmosphere was really nice and felt realistic.
Leeraner Miniaturland – Berlin Model Landscape
As a rather new part of their portfolio, the East Frisians bought the models of the former Loxx exhibition at Berlin Alexanderplatz. Even though our visit was three years after the exhibition in the German capital had to close, the new owners still felt to struggle with the area a lot. On the positive side, you can definitely state that Loxx built the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) significantly before they built the real one. Overall, however, the models definitely come with a lower quality compared to the key exhibition. Thus, the Berlin part just feels significantly more boring, sometimes even bad in a certain sense. Thus, I am not sure if I feel that they took a wise decision to take over this section – even though it adds quite a number of models.
Leeraner Miniaturland – Services
Of course, the scale modeling landscape also offers a store at the reception area. You can buy typical souvenirs, but also models. The cafe, which is more or less right next to it, was also very popular among the locals. Another reason why the parking lots may be quite blocked is that the site is also driving a mini golf place.
Leeraner Miniaturland – My View
The East Frisia part of the exhibition is really good, the remaining Northwest Germany collection is at least good. And then there is Berlin. Yes, you can grow quickly by purchasing from peers, but especially in this business, you need to be careful that you keep your level. There is a reason why Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is Germany’s best rated attraction: they just don’t dare to be bad and thus invest an incredible amount of money and time in the quality of their display.
Some of the Leer exhibitions are not too far away from that global Number One to me. They don’t do the really weird and fancy things at Leeraner Miniaturland – but they are really good in what they are doing. Now they need to invest into the German capital in 1:87 scale to take the next step successfully.
Scale Modeling at Flyctory.com
Cars, Trains, Planes and more – here are postings about the world in model size: