Maps of Sylvania over the years

Sylvanian Families Beaver Family

On a quiet morning at Sylvanian Specialty Store I thought it would be interesting to dabble in a little Sylvanian Cartology.

Cartology is the study of maps. It's surprising, or perhaps not so surprising at all, there have been many maps of Sylvania over the years. After all, Sylvania has existed since 1985, well over 30 years now!

Sylvania in the 1990's

This map was dated late 1990's. You'll notice in all of the maps that physical land features remain the same, notably the mountain background, river and the round lake, however, while some of the buildings remain the same, others evolve over time. 

Notice the playground on the upper side of the river, which only appears in this map. It features the Japanese exclusive Sylvanian Families Masted Ship set, a rare item from 1998. There is also a green-roofed school that looks very much like St Francis School (which has a blue roof) however this particular school wasn't released until 2002. Maybe it was already in the design stage by 1999, so was drawn into the map?

Sylvanian Families Village map

Vintage Sylvania - an artist's vision

This particular map, below in sepia, was released around 1999. You'll recognise some of the early Sylvanian Families sets in this map: The Treehouse, the Windmill, The School House and the early Japanese Water Wheel set (that is rare today) The buildings are more of an artistic impression of the actual Sylvanian Families buildings, rather than a true likeness to them.

  Sylvanian Families vintage map in sepia

Changing Landmarks

Now let's look at this Japanese map of Sylvania. I would place this map at circa 2002 - as St Francis School (the blue school in the lower left of the map) appears, also Lakeside Lodge, both being released at around 2002.

There are also quite a few buildings I don't recognise at all and I assume were only added in for artistic effect.


 Sylvanian Families St Francis School map



Sylvania in Winter

Brrrr! An icy weather change for this map! This Sylvanian Cartology lesson is starting to resemble a Sylvanian weather forecast!

This snowy map was dated 2002. Arrows point to the Lakeside Lodge and St Francis School which were released around the same time.


 Sylvanian Families map in Winter Melbourne

Sylvania in Autumn

This 2003 Sylvanian map, which at first appears to the simply a seasonal change from the previous map, but no! Interestingly enough, there are quite a few differences from the 2002 maps.  Some buildings have been added, some rooftop are a completely different colour. The School has evolved from St Francis into St Johns School. Notice the super-interesting playground on the upper side of the river.


 Sylvanian Families Autumn map in Sylvania


A Woodland Map

 This map depicts Sylvania at a particularly leafy time of year. The woodland seems much more dense around Sylvania in this setting and the crops are flourishing. The large red building at the lower left corner of the map is interesting, although I don't know of any particular Sylvanian buiildings it corresponds to.

Sylvanian Families Woodland map Adelaide

A Lake less populated

Another close up of the Lake released at a different time. However quite a number of houses around the lake in the previous map have disappeared, the waterfall is much smaller (drought that year?) and more of a rocky outcrop above the lake is revealed.

Sylvanian Families Map Perth Rocky outcrop

The Urbanisation of Sylvania

Of course, we also have to see Sylvania in Summer. This map dates around 2010 or 2011, the era that some of these buildings were released.

As you'll see by the inclusion of Berrygrove School, The Hamburger Restaurant, The Sylvanian Kitchen Restaurant, a couple of House on Breeze Hill buildings and the Regency hotel up near the Round lake. The topography has changed somewhat too. There are more roads, more houses and several bridges, even a tunnel through the hillside. Sylvania is definitely urbanising!


Sylvanian Families Urban Life map

Seaside Sylvania

Let's fast forward to 2015 and 2016 when the Sylvanian Families Seaside Themed sets were released. Naturally, the Sylvanian river and lake topography didn't work with the seaside theme so we see the introduction of a coastal map of Sylvania.

You'll recognise the Sylvanian Lighthouse taking it's prominent place in the landscape.

Sylvanian Families map Gold Coast

Sylvanian Town Centre in 2018

And now in 2018, we have the introduction of a Town map with the new Sylvanian Families Town Series sets. In the latest Sylvanian Families sets out, most figures now live and work in town, but for those of you who still love the country village feel of Sylvania, it's encouraging to see by this map that the country is only a bus ride away! There's no river or round lake in sight, but plenty of woodland nearby.

Sylvanian FAmilies new Town Series layout scenery map

Don't you love the layout of the new Town Sylvania?

And if you look closely you'll see some interesting looking buildings featured. At this point it's unknown, and only guessing, but I do wonder if some of these buildings are eventually going to be released?

I do like the building with the black steeple-like structure. Any ideas what that might be?

Sylvanian FAmlies Town Series downtown city

And the black archway in the background of this map. It would be interesting to know which landmark this is in Sylvania.

Sylvanian Families map of new City centre

We hope you've enjoyed your tour of Sylvania.  If you've enjoyed this article, there are plenty more Sylvanian Families themed articles in our store blog - you'll see just a few of them below.

See our Fabulous Sylvanian Families New Arrivals in Store