Christoph Sillem, a German photographer who lives in Paris, was playing with Google Maps when he noticed a huge circular road around Disneyland Paris.He made the trek to the park and discovered Val d’Europe, a planned community created by the Walt Disney Company—think the French version of Celebration, Florida.
While construction started on the town in 1987, the residential area is still being built and much of it is completely empty. Val d’Europe consists of five districts, and has a large shopping centre and aquarium. Euro Disney spent about $6 billion to build the community, which had about 20,000 residents as of 2005. That number was expected to double.
Says Sillem in La Journal de la Photographie:
It is a Truman Show-like über-replica of a French village from the last century, which seems to have sprung up overnight. While Eurodisney is crowded with people, the streets are empty here. Clean and nearly retouched, it is an odd combination of the familiar and the odd. You feel as though you are in another country that is pretending to be French, even though you are indeed in France itself.
He was kind enough to share some photos of Disney’s strange European ghost town with us.
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