Published Sunday, 12 September 2010
Religious tourists in Europe already have the Vatican, Lourdes and Fatima. But the developers behind an amusement park proposed for Mallorca believe they need the attraction of Holy Land – the continent's very first Christian theme park.
The €10m development is to be built on seven hectares (17 acres) that include the former municipal rubbish dump at Capdepera, in the north of the island, if the plans presented to the town hall come to fruition.
The park will offer visitors everything from the last supper to "live resurrections" in a rolling programme of shows repeated through the day.
Although similar parks exist in Latin America and the US, Europe has yet to build a Christian theme park, perhaps because the number of those with faith is dwindling. But Sigma, the prospective builder of Mallorca's venture and owner of a similar park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, want to bring its concept to Europe with a place that promises to recreate scenarios from the old and new testaments.
Capdepera's town hall confirmed that it had received an approach from Sigma but had yet to decide on approval.
The plan for the Mallorca park is to emulate the success of Christian attractions in the US, which include the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, and the Creation Museum near Cincinatti.
Exact details are scant, but the Buenos Aires park offers its re-enactments of the creation of mankind, the birth of Christ, the resurrection and the last supper eight times a day.
With a cast of extras in the costumes of Romans and early Palestinians, the park advertises itself as "a place where everyone can learn about the origins of spirituality". Visitors include tourists and groups of young roman Catholics studying for their first communion.
The park planned for Mallorca reportedly intends to build replicas of, among other things, the Wall of Lamentations and a Roman court house.
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