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View of Grand Maket Rossiya from the "Eastern" side of Russia, looking west

Grand Maket Rossiya Interactive Museum

January 5, 2019
Museums

It’s no secret that travelling with young children can be complicated. Long lines, strangers on the bus, and stories from history can make kids feel like they’re back in school and not on vacation. When children get bored and tired, they tend to start misbehaving. When children start misbehaving, everyone struggles.

Our child friendly tours offer well-balanced custom itineraries that let the adults see St. Petersburg while keeping the little ones and yourself entertained. These itineraries are completely customizable, though there are two interactive museums which stand out above the rest. These museums in St. Petersburg, Russia are “Grand Maket Russia”, the second largest miniature layout display in the world. And The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines.

In this article, we’ll focus on Grand Maket Russia (“Maket” means model in Russian, as in “model airplane”).

Grand Maket Russia

Grand Maket Russia interactive museum museum is a gigantic miniature model of Russia, built in 1 to 87 scale. It covers an area of 800 square meters (8,600 sq ft). It is the largest miniature in Russia and second largest miniature in the whole world. This model depicts scenes from the whole country: historical sights of St. Petersburg and Moscow, snow-covered Siberian forests, ancient towns, Eastern ports, Trans-Siberian railway, and much more. This museum is habitat for thousands of model citizens who are depicted as busy with their everyday tasks. Model’s citizens go to work, drive cars, do sports, work in the fields, participate in the festivals and concerts, the lucky ones are travelling by cruise ships.

Fantastic Detail

Grand Maket is a living model, it is replete with roads, highways and railways that are always busy with cars, busses and trains. The movement of the cars in the model are realistic. The cars and buses stop at traffic lights, bus stops, and flashing signals. Vehicles’ speeds are variable and they even use their turn signals! The electrical power for the automobiles comes  from underneath the model, the cars themselves don’t appear to have a power supply, everything is wireless.

The system of railways and roads creates a life-like multi-level net that spreads under and over the model. This net uses more than 2,500 m (8,200 ft) of rails and 452 switch boxes. The total number of rolling stock is more than 2700, of which 250 are locomotives.

A team of engineers on duty  attentively supervises the miniature. They monitor everything over an array of screens reminiscent of a scene from the movie “The Dark Knight”.

Night and Day in Grand Maket Rossiya

Another dimension of realism is also achieved with the transitions through different times of day. Every 13 minutes the lighting of the model changes as day gradually transitions into night. With the changing environment, the lights of the buildings and vehicles begin switching on as they “go about their daily lives”.

Weather

Every now and then a “storm” with lightning will come and go, making this model one of the most realistic ones you’ll ever see.

Interactivity

The most exciting thing about the model is that you and your children can actively interact with it. Throughout the model, you will find special buttons, which cause various special sequences to come to life.

A crowd favorite is a scene where there are firefighters responding to a forest fire, complete with “smoke” and a simulated stream of water from their fire hose! Push another button and watch a local carnival come to life.

Another great feature is the fact that the museum constantly updates and tirelessly maintains the model. Stop by the workshop’s observation hall and watch the painstaking attention to detail in action, as employees work on the model’s components.

We aren’t the only fans of this museum: Grand Maket Russia has earned a 5 star rating and was awarded a “2016 Traveller’s choice award” by Tripadvisor.

The Grand Maket is truly a special place to visit. Whether you are looking for an interactive museum to satisfy the kids or yourself, Grand Maket is the right place for you.

If you would like to include “Grand Maket” in your kid-friendly excursions , we would love to create a customized tour for you and your family! Contact us at [email protected] and we will craft the perfect experience for you and your family.

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