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Salzburg, Austria

Panorama Museum Salzburg

This 19th century cyclorama acts like an analogue time machine to a different era. 

A recently renovated panorama in the heart of Salzburg takes viewers back to 1829 in 360 degrees of lovingly painted history. Johann Sattler, an esteemed panorama artist, painted the impressive panorama that now sits in the aptly named Panorama Museum Salzberg, over three years in the 1820s. At over 1,300 square feet, the massive panorama portrays Salzburg and the surrounding areas in exquisite detail as seen from the top of Salzburg castle.

The panorama was a popular attraction at the time of its completion, and it travelled all across Europe in the 19th century drawing enormous crowds. Though panoramas declined in popularity in the wake of photography, they once offered viewers a means of virtual travel. Sattler painted Salzburg’s sublime mountains in the distance, but he also depicted people going about their dull daily tasks, thereby giving observers an accurate, living representation of the city.

After enjoying a spot near the Salzberg spa gardens, until the late 1930s, the painting was rolled up and put into storage until the late 1970s. It moved around for a bit until the mid-2000s when it was extensively refurbished and moved to its new home in the Panorama Museum in the city where it was born. 

Though the city of Salzburg, where the painting was born, has changed drastically, the panorama still gives visitors a unique, hand-crafted glimpse into Salzburg’s past. It’s exciting to compare the present with the past as seen in the panorama. Go up to the top of Salzburg Castle earlier in the day to get the most of this spectacle. 

Know Before You Go

Part of the Salzburg Museum. Head to the museum south of the river under the shadow of the castle.