Borodino Panorama – Moscow, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Borodino Panorama

A 360 degree battlefield experience. 


The almost unimaginable carnage of the clash between the French and Russian forces at the Battle of Borodino is brought to life in a 360-degree masterpiece of panoramic art in Moscow, Russia.

Nearly 380 feet of canvas painted by painted by Russian artist Franz Roubaud depict the fighting of 1812 in dramatic detail, attempting to bring alive the battle that raged between more than 250,000 troops and ended with an estimated 70,000 casualties. Sound effects of battle sounds add to the mood of the scene.

Roubaud was born in Russia, but studied art in Munich. He went on to create a number of enormous panoramas of battle scenes including the Siege of Sevastopol and Russo-Persian War, and this depiction of the Battle or Borodino, which opened in Russia on August 29, 1912, in honor of the centennial of the fight. Panoramas were enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States in the 19th century, with epic battles being amongst the most popular subjects.

Near the museum at a mass-grave memorial, visitors can pay their respects to 300 Russian soldiers who lost their lives in that battle.

Although few full-scale panoramas of the hundreds that once lured crowds around the world still exist, there are a few notable survivors: In Wroclaw, Poland, the enormous 120-year-old Raclawice Panorama lets you step into the middle of the 1794 Battle of Racławice. In Istanbul, Turkey, the Panorma 1453 Museum recreates the epic fall of Constantinople. A more modern example in Damascas, Syria, the October War Panorama is dedicated to scenes from the 1973 October War between Israel, Egypt, and Syria.

Update May 2019: The panorama has been closed since 2017 for maintenance. It’s currently expected to reopen in late 2019. (A small museum in a separate building is still open.)

Know Before You Go

metro stations: Park Pobedy, Kutuzovskaya

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