Architects Seeking $2.9 Billion to Make Real-Life Lord of the Rings City

A real-world Minas Tirith would be the "most remarkable tourist attraction on the planet."

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A team of British architects are hoping to raise money--a lot of money--in an attempt to build a real-life Lord of the Rings city. Their Indiegogo campaign page is asking for an incredible £1.85 billion / $2.9 billion to build Minas Tirith somewhere in southern England. This is a real thing that is happening.

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The team behind the project, as you might expect, are a group of passionate J.R.R. Tolkien fans hoping to build a replica of the city seen in Peter Jackson's movies.

"We all share a love of Tolkien's work, and a desire to challenge the common perception of community and architecture," the architects said. "We believe that, in realizing Minas Tirith, we could create not only the most remarkable tourist attraction on the planet, but also a wonderfully unique place to live and work."

The architects are hoping to create both residential and commercial properties inside the city walls, "allowing for sustainable growth and a high-quality of life." Hopefully there won't be any Nazgul attacks.

The budget breaks down as such:

  • £15 million ($23.4 million) for land
  • £188 million ($293.6 million) for labor
  • £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) for material
  • The remainder of the money will be invested in maintenance and public services until the year 2053.

They are looking to raise the gargantuan figure in the next 60 days, and yes, they admit that their goal is a lofty one. "We're fully aware of the scale of our ambition, but we hope you realize just how special this project could be," they wrote.

In addition, they said they are willing to abandon the project should any disputes arise regarding the image or name of Minas Tirith, which of course, they did not create and thus do not own.

It should also be noted that it sounds like the architects aren't really totally serious. But thankfully, if the project comes up short, everyone will get full refunds.

"Please only donate within your means, and in the knowledge that this project is a light-hearted venture with virtually no chance of succeeding," they said.

The architects are currently looking at two locations for their Minas Tirith, both of which are in southern England, though they weren't named outright. The Minias Tirith depicted in Jackson's movies was inspired by Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France.

Should the campaign reach its funding target, construction would begin in 2016 and should be finished by the end of 2023. You can read more about the initiative at the Indiegogo page.

At press time, the campaign has raised around £60,000 ($94,000) from more than 1,500 people.

What do you think about all of this? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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