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This 50-Meter Map of Scotland May Be the Largest Relief Map in the World

(Photo: Mapa Scotland)

On the grounds of a hotel in Scotland, there's an enormous outdoor map of that country, covering every part of its rich contours at a 1:10,000 scale.

The project was the brainchild of Jan Tomasik, a Polish soldier during World War II. He was a member of a Polish Army unit that escaped to France and then to Britain after Nazi Germany's conquest of his nation. While in the UK, Tomasik was stationed in Scotland. He fell in love with the country. After the Communists conquered Poland in 1945, he decided to settle in Scotland. Tomasik became a prosperous businessman, managing and owning hotels and pubs, among other enterprises.

Tomasik wanted to express his appreciation for the UK and Scotland in particular for giving him and his fellow Poles a place of refuge during the Nazi and Communist occupations of Poland. In 1968, he bought Barony Castle, an old manor home converted into a hotel. In 1972, he began construction of an enormous scale relief map of Scotland on its grounds. When it was completed in 1979, it offered visitors a spectacular presentation of Scottish geography in a beautifully pastoral setting.

The Barony Castle Hotel closed in 1985 and Tomasik died in 1991. The enormous map, which became known as Mapa Scotland, fell into disrepair. But now there is a volunteer effort to restore the map at the hotel, which has since reopened. You can read more at the official Mapa Scotland site.

-via Amusing Planet


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