Historical Boulevard is located right in the city center. It is here that tourists can find a huge picture reflecting the events of the Crimean War. The dimensions of the canvas are striking: 115 meters in circumference and 14 meters in height. The total area is 1600 square meters! It is located in the Panorama building, and the entire historical complex is called “Defense of Sevastopol 1854-1855”.
In 1901, Prince Alexander Mikhailovich, grandson of Nicholas I, commissioned a painting with scenes of battles to the artist Franz Roubaud, who is considered the founder of the national school of battle painting. Roubaud worked on the painting for three years. From 1901 to 1902, he came from Munich to Sevastopol to personally communicate with the heroes of the war, visit the bastions, see the places where the battles took place. During the year, the artist sketched 50 sketches.
As a result, the huge canvas depicted the most fateful day during the defense of the city the day of the storming of the Malakhov Kurgan and the Ship Side of Sevastopol, which took place on June 6, 1855. Roubaud painted the painting in Munich, where a whole pavilion was built for this purpose.
The decision to build the Panorama on Historical Boulevard was not accidental: during the Crimean War, the 4th bastion was located here. It is better to start the excursion from Ushakov Square, which leads to Panorama and further to the reconstructed artillery battery.
History of Panorama Defense of Sevastopol
In 1942, a shell hit the building, and it caught fire. To save the canvas, I had to cut it into fragments. Only 86 of them were saved, this is about 70 percent of the whole picture. They were taken to Novorossiysk on the destroyer “Tashkent”, and then taken to Novosibirsk and from there to Moscow. But experts delivered a verdict: it is impossible to restore tightly.
In 1950, it was decided to restore the burnt-out Panorama building, at the same time they began to recreate the picture itself. For 6 months, 17 Moscow artists worked on Roubaud’s work, adding several new subjects.
On October 16, 1954, the Panorama building reopened.
What to see
Before seeing the Panorama “Defense of Sevastopol 1854-1855”, you will pass through the Historical Park. Children’s attractions work here: cars, slides, shooting gallery, fear room. There is a Ferris wheel.
In front of the Panorama building there is an open-air museum of anchors. English, Russian and Turkish anchors were found once at sea in the Sevastopol and Balaklava bays.
Walk to the park hill and you will see a monument to Leo Tolstoy, who wrote his famous “Sevastopol Tales” here.
Further there are gun yards, where there is a genuine ship cannon from the times of the Crimean War. And finally, the Panorama building itself. How the city was defended can be understood thanks to the documents and photographs stored here. It also displays personal belongings of the fighters, awards, weapons.
Climbing the spiral staircase, you will find yourself on the observation deck, from where you can see the gigantic canvas. As conceived by the artist himself, the observation deck is like a hill on the Malakhov Kurgan, its summit on the first day of the assault. More than 4 thousand participants are depicted in the picture, including real characters: surgeon Nikolai Pirogov, sailor Pyotr Koshka, Admiral Pavel Nakhimov, military nurse Dasha Sevastopolskaya.