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Palaces, churches, and towers of the world in Lego (pictures)

Warren Elsmore's book "Brick City" unpacks the meticulous process of modeling landmarks in plastic bricks.

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Tim Hornyak
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1 of 11 Barron's Educational Series

Taj Mahal

Built by modeler Arthur Gugick, this magnificent re-creation of India's Taj Mahal graces the pages of "Brick City," a new book of landmarks made in Lego by Warren Elsmore.

The Taj is Gugick's most complex model. It required over 28,000 bricks and over four months to build. It measures 25.5 inches tall, but some of its dimensions were deliberately distorted to make it appear more accurate in a film production that commissioned it.

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2 of 11 Warren Elsmore

Westminster Abbey

Created by "Brick City" author Warren Elsmore and four others, this 1:43-scale model of London's Westminster Abbey is 63 inches tall and 116 inches long. Each of the 180,000 bricks is a standard-issue Lego piece; no glue or non-Lego parts were used. It houses a congregation of about 400 minifigs.
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3 of 11 Warren Elsmore

Roman Colosseum

Elsmore's homage to the Colosseum in Rome re-creates its damaged monumental facade and underground structures.
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4 of 11 Alex Mandrilla

The Eiffel Tower

Measuring 19.5 inches tall, this 1:650-scale model of the Eiffel Tower was built by Spencer Rezkalla. He used 4,812 bricks, including Lego Flexi-tube elements, to recreate the challenging Paris icon, largely using a process of trial and error.
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5 of 11 Barron's Educational Series

St. Basil's Cathedral

Over 20 inches tall, Arthur Gugick's 1:110-scale Lego model of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow was made from more than 20,000 bricks. It was Gugick's most complex creation after the Taj Mahal and required custom software to design.
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6 of 11 Sean Kenney

Chocago Tribune Tower

Modeler Sean Kenney's vision of the Tribune Tower in Chicago was built with 27,000 bricks. It's 48 inches tall and reflects the 1925 landmark's neo-Gothic details.
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7 of 11 Warren Elsmore

Battersea Power Station

London's iconic Battersea Power Station is given the Lego treatment by Elsmore, who even included a floating pig in the model as a nod to Pink Floyd's album "Animals."
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8 of 11 Warren Elsmore

San Francisco cable car

Elsmore's "Brick City" also features many Lego vehicles, such as New York taxis and hot dog carts, as well as this San Francisco cable car, done by the author himself.
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9 of 11 Warren Elsmore

St. Pancras Station

Elsmore's pièce de résistance is St. Pancras Station in London, and is the original inspiration for his book "Brick City." About 120,000 Lego pieces were used to re-imagine the Victorian masterpiece by Gothic revival architect George Gilbert Scott.

The station has six fully working platforms with Lego Eurostar trains and passengers moving in and out, as well as features such as a champagne bar. It has been shown at LegoWorld Copenhagen and numerous other Lego exhibitions.

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10 of 11 Warren Elsmore

Sagrada Familia

Elsmore's version of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church shows that you don't always need a lot of bricks to make a convincing architectural model.
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11 of 11 Warren Elsmore

London Olympic Park

In 2012, the Lego Group and Visit Denmark commissioned Elsmore to build a piece for the Danish Hospitality House at the London Olympic Games. The result was this elaborate model of the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park, which were seen by 100,000 visitors, generating headlines around the world.

About 250,000 bricks went into the construction, which took 300 hours. Most of them were 1x1 pieces. Check it out in Elsmore's "Brick City" or in this video.

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