Spain to get world’s only Smurf theme park

The Spanish city of Lleida is set to become home to a Smurf theme park, a project that will create 200 jobs in the region.

Spain to get world's only Smurf theme park
Smurfs wear Phrygian caps which symbolize freedom and the pursuit of liberty. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America/AFP

The project dedicated to the little blue characters known as 'pitufos' in Spanish will have set-up fees of €47 million ($57.8 million), Lleida's town hall said on Thursday. Expected revenues will be €14 million in the first year.

The family theme park will target families of children aged two to 12, according to Spain's 20 minutos.

While the Smurfs — originally the creation of Belgian comics artist Pierre Culliford — have enjoyed huge success as toys, and as television, film and video game characters, the Spanish theme park would be a world's only such location dedicated to the little creatures. 

But the Smurf park will not be the first tourism site in Spain dedicated to 'les Schtroumpfs' as they are known in their original French version. 

In what was meant to be a short-lived publicity stunt for the Spanish premiere of The Smurfs in 3D movie in 2011, the Andalusian village of Júzcar saw all of its houses painted blue. 

Producers said houses would be repainted white after the marketing stunt was over, but locals saw a money-making possibility and left their homes blue. They have so far managed to attract over 200,000 tourists with the unique colour scheme.

A Smurf-themed park, Big Bang Schtroumpf, operated in France in the 1980s and 1990s but Smurfs disappeared from the venue after the park was bought out by another company. 

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Civil War bomb detonated at Spain’s newest theme park

Police explosives experts have destroyed a Spanish Civil War-era bomb found at the building site of a historical theme park in central Spain, emergency services said Thursday.

Civil War bomb detonated at Spain's newest theme park
El Sueño de Toledo opened on August 30th. Photo:

The bomb was detected Wednesday at the Puy du Fou amusement park under construction near Toledo, the ancient Spanish capital near Madrid, and was safely detonated, regional emergency services said in a tweet.

“No injuries or property damage were suffered,” it added.   

The theme park being set up on a 160-hectare site on the outskirts of Toledo is the first to be built outside of France by Puy du Fou, which already operates one in western France that is known for its ostentatious historical re-enactments featuring actors, stunt performers and epic fireworks.   

Total investment is to reach €242 million ($266 million) over 10 years, and 690 direct jobs are expected to be created in 2021 when the park is scheduled to open.

Last week about 4,000 spectators watched a premiere of the park's show, which traced Spanish history since the 13th century on a five-hectare stage complete with an artificial lake.

The discovery of explosives from Spain's 1936-39 Civil War is not uncommon.   

Last month, police experts destroyed another Civil War-era bomb found in the sea off one of Barcelona's popular beaches, which had to be evacuated.