The amazing variety that is Israel is nowhere better revealed than at Mini Israel. Along its paths, shaped like a Star of David, over 350 intricate, hand-crafted, true-to-life scale models depict the country's best known sites and monuments.
From Mount Hermon to the Temple Mount, from a Talmudic village to the Tel Aviv beach, from the churches of Galilee to its synagogues, from a bus station to the Bahai Gardens, and many more - each structure tells its own inimical story.
A team of artists bestowed the finishing touches on each model, as well as sculpting the thousands of tiny figures that populate the scenes. And this is no silent spectacle: there are sound effects galore - among them, the commander of the honor guard at the Knesset barks out orders, the crowd cheers at Jerusalem's Teddy soccer stadium (while the figures execute a perfectly coordinated wave!), the recoded voice of Maestro Isaac Stern conducting a violin master class emanates from the model of historic Mishkenot She'ananim, the first building outside the walled city of Jerusalem.
When the sun sets over the Ayalon Valley home of Mini Israel (just off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway), warm lights begin to glow from many tiny windows. To add to the fascination, 70,000 dwarf plants of species that really grow at the various sites were especially cultivated and planted here. Mini Israel is "edutainment" at its best, a unique way to showcase Israel's long and complex history as well as its multi-faceted present.
This review is republished courtesy of The Ministry of Tourism (www.goisrael.com).
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