L’Iber Tin Soldier Museum

L’Iber Museo de los Solditos de Plomo lays claim to the largest collection of tin soldiers in the entire world, with over one million tiny figurines lining its shelves. It’s a strange museum, made even stranger by its location within a beautiful palace on one of Valencia’s most popular streets. Collections as eccentric as L’Iber are usually based in the dusty attic of a scary old hermit.

L'Iber Tin Soldier Museum in Valencia

The scope of L’Iber’s collection is breathtaking, with over a dozen rooms loosely organized by time period. There are collections dedicated to World War I, Napoleon, and Ancient Rome, and you can find almost every kind of soldier imaginable, from US Confederates to ancient Egyptians. You’ll see prehistoric hunters bringing down a mammoth, medieval warriors laying siege to walled cities, and a darling little Francisco Franco protected by his fearsome Moorish Guard.

In one room, there’s a recreation of the Battle of Almansa, which pitted France and Spain against the rest of Europe, and was the decisive conflict in the War of Spanish Succession. Thousands of figures are deployed across a vast field, which has been brought to life in vivid detail with rivers, trees, hills and roads. If you know your stuff, you might be able to distinguish the Portuguese infantry from the Irish regiment, as well as the Dutch, the French and the English, all recognizable in their distinctive uniforms. History buffs could spend an hour taking in just this single exhibit.

Tin Soldier Museum in Valencia

The man behind the madness is Don Álvaro Noguera Giménez (1939-2006), who was one of Valencia’s most important 20th-century businessmen, head of the real-estate agency FICSA, and apparently an unparalleled tin soldier fetishist. His collection is set within the stately halls of the Gothic Palace of Malferit, and it’s worth the cost of admission just to see the interior of this classic Valencian residence.

Given its prominent setting on Calle Caballeros, we had walked by L’Iber probably a thousand times before ever setting foot inside. I’m not sure what held us back — the idea of a “tin soldier” museum certainly captured our curiosity, but we kept putting it off for whatever reason. But it was worth the wait. L’Iber is one of Valencia’s most memorable museums, and almost definitely its most unique.

L’Iber Tin Soldier Museum – Website

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. farah

    wow …. really very amazing museum with miniature soldiers. it is very neatly laid

  2. Mike G

    ♫…One tin soldier rides away…….♫

  3. Connie

    We were in Spain for three wonderful weeks in May. Going to this museum was one of the highlights. It happened to be a “free” day as it was a holiday weekend so we wandered in. It would be well worth the admission! Your description was excellent and I love that you photographed so much. I’m interested in seeing your other posts to help plan future trips.

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