Panorama Defense of Sevastopol 1854-1855

Panorama Defense of Sevastopol 1854-1855
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.

An officer's dugout destroyed by a direct hit from an enemy gun. Detailing - both subject and color simply amazes with its accuracy and realism
An officer’s dugout destroyed by a direct hit from an enemy gun. Detailing – both subject and color simply amazes with its accuracy and realism

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.

Defense of Sevastopol
Defense of Sevastopol

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.

Panorama Defense of Sevastopol – photo

A cross made of cannonballs marks the site of the fatal wound of Vice Admiral Vladimir Kornilov
A cross made of cannonballs marks the site of the fatal wound of Vice Admiral Vladimir Kornilov
Dugout galley. The defenders need to be fed no matter what
Dugout galley. The defenders need to be fed no matter what
Dugouts in which the defenders spent short minutes of rest - there are many of them on the subject plane
Dugouts in which the defenders spent short minutes of rest – there are many of them on the subject plane
On the subject plan - the signal post of the Malakhov Kurgan
On the subject plan – the signal post of the Malakhov Kurgan
In the foreground are Senyavin's troops
In the foreground are Senyavin’s troops
In addition to the battle scenes depicted on the canvas, great attention is paid to the everyday life of the defenders of the city.
In addition to the battle scenes depicted on the canvas, great attention is paid to the everyday life of the defenders of the city.
Panorama Defense of Sevastopol. Field shelters from rounds to protect against bullets and shell fragments
Field shelters from rounds to protect against bullets and shell fragments
Part of the road, the continuation of which is depicted on a picturesque canvas. Soldiers of the Chernigov Infantry Regiment are running along it to the aid of the defenders of the Malakhov Kurgan.
Part of the road, the continuation of which is depicted on a picturesque canvas. Soldiers of the Chernigov Infantry Regiment are running along it to the aid of the defenders of the Malakhov Kurgan.
Stanislavsky's battery abandoned by the gunners
Stanislavsky’s battery abandoned by the gunners
Panorama Defense of Sevastopol. Substantively, Stanislavsky's troops.
Substantively, Stanislavsky’s troops.
The basis of the composition is battle scenes
The basis of the composition is battle scenes
Panorama Defense of Sevastopol. The right flank of the Senyavin battery
The right flank of the Senyavin battery
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