The panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Raclawice is considered one of Wroclaw's main tourist attractions. It is a circular painting of 114 metres total length and 15 metres high, presented in a rotund which was built for this purpose in the 1980s. The spectators seem to stand on a small hill in the middle, with the battle raging all around them.
The battle on April 4, 1794 saw a victory of the Polish troops and peasant volunteers lead by General Tadeusz Kosciuszko against the Russian army. It was just a temporary success, in the end the uprising and the fight for independence failed, but it has an enormous significance for Polish patriotism.
The painting was created for the centennary in 1894 and first displayed in Lwów. At the end of World War II, when Lwów became part of the Soviet Union, the painting was rescued and brought to Poland under rather dramatic circumstances. Its restoration could not be done until the 1980s for political issues. Since 1985 it has been on display in Wroclaw.
Tickets are sold for time slots every 30 minutes, 70 tickets each. I was lucky to get hold of a ticket for the next entry time one minute after my arrival - perfect. But don't count on that, you may have to wait or buy a ticket for a later hour and come back. The website http://www.panoramaraclawicka.pl/jak-kupic-bilety.html informs about tickets and options to prebook.
Entrance fee: 25 PLN (adults), 18 PLN (families per person and concessions)
Once inside, you'll listen to a comment that explains the painting and its historical background. The main comment over loudspeaker is in Polish. If you need a translation, get a headphone from the guards, there are 16 languages available.
Photography is in theory not allowed. Everyone does, though, and the guards don't interfere - but keep the flash turned off, and maybe it's wise not to do that right under the guards' nose.
More detail photos in my travelogue page: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/ca127/
Before I came here I wondered whether I should fit the Panorama Raclawicka into my itiinerary. After all, this panorama painting is all about a Polish war back in 1794 and I wasn't sure if I would be that interested. Polish people come here in their droves but then again its their history. In the end I decided to give it a go. Did I think it was worth it? - Absolutely! This was the first time I've come across this style of painting and I was impressed.
Housed in a concrete rotunda (not the prettiest building I've ever seen), the painting stretches 360° around it. What made it especially interesting to me was the way that your eyes are drawn to it in a 3 dimensional sort of way.The perspective of the painting is enhanced by real life objects such as soil, carts and implements which brings the whole thing to life.
The visit takes half an hour and the story of the battle is told in Polish, but there are free audio guides to follow it in other languages.The painting was made for a national exhibition in 1894 to commemorate the centenary of the Kosciuszko Uprising, when Polish insurgents fought Russian forces sent to suppress the revolt at Raclawice. I don't think I'm giving any secrets away if I tell you that the Polish forces under General Tadeusz Kosciuszko won the battle.
Whether you're interested in this or not it is still definitely worth a visit. It cost 25 zl to go in (Nov 2012) which seemed quite a bit in comparison to other local attractions - but you need to bear in mind that this is a popular place for local people to visit - and it's still not expensive (around £5-£6).
The tour runs every half an hour but you may need to book a time slot. I was able to make it for the next one when I came but at busy times that may not be the case so bear it in mind.
One final thing I should point out is that you are asked to hand in your coats and bags and refrain from taking photographs. I did what I was asked and missed out on taking pictures of the panorama when other people were quite freely doing just that. So my tip here is to take your camera in with you and if you see other people taking pictures without not being told not to - well - just do the same. I definitely regretted not taking my camera with me.
I'm not a big fan of art but battle of this panoramic painting (15 × 114 meter) captured me!
It's not only a painting but also lights and other efects.
It takes about 30 minutes to listen to the story of the battle and if asked me, it was very fascinating (even if it's about a battle).
You can choose headset with several languages.
Panorama is very popular so you should come early or buy a ticket in advantage.
Ticket was 20 zl back then but now it seems to be 25 zl.
If you have little time to spend in Wrocław, this is something you shouldn’t absolutely miss. Why, you’ll ask. Well, because this apparently ugly round building (called rotunda) houses the greatest attraction in the city, far more interesting that the Gryphons’ house. I am speaking of the Panorama Racławicka (“Racławice Panorama”). It is not easy to describe what this is, since it is many things at the same time: a wonderful diorama, a lesson of history, a monument to the greatness of the Polish nation, a hymn to freedom.
The panorama depicts the battle of Racławice of April 4, 1794, which marked the start of the Polish insurrection against the Russian army, led by the national hero Tadeusz Kościuzko.
Go on reading to learn more about this great art work.
The diorama describing the battle of Rac³awice has had a long and troubled history, which is explained on this stone at the entrance of the building. So, I will start with the translation of the inscription:
Painted in Lvov in 1894
on the hundredth anniversary
of the Kosciuszko Insurrection
JAN STYKA and WOJCIECH KOSSAK
Ludwik Boller, Tadeusz Popiel
Zygmunt Rozwadowski and others
Damaged during the war in 1944
Transferred to Wrocław in 1946
Restored with the effort of the society
GIVEN BACK TO THE NATION IN 1985
The panorama remained unknown until the end of the communist regime in Poland. You can easily understand that the regime didn't want the world to know that the Poles had defeated the Russian army. Today, people from all Polish regions and from foreign countries (especially from the USA, the UK and France) visit it every day.
Several famous people paid a visit to the Panorama Racławicka in the past years. Here are some of them:
1) Pope John Paul II in 1997;
2) Polish writer and Nobel-prize winner Czesław Miłosz in 1997;
3) Queen Beatrix of Nederland in 1997;
4) French painter Balthus in 1998;
5) King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgique in 1999.
Many others will follow...
Panoramic paintings are a very special genre and although they became quite popular in the 19th and early 20th century, not many of them were preserved. One of them is exhibited in Wroclaw and depicts the Battle of Raclawice (1794) and was painted between late 1893 and early 1894. During the communist era, it was restored and presented to the public again in 1985. The panormala has a size of 15 x 114 meters, typical for a painting of this genre.
The painting is highly political as it depicts the defeat of the Polish forces against the Russians, a reason why it was kept away in the communist era. In combination with the fact that it is a battle painting, it is not as easy to enjoy as for example Mesdag's panorama in Den Haag. The complimentary audioguide will help you to understand the painting and is highly recommended. It is available in many languages, including Korean.
Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice - this huge (15x114m) painting is an impressive relic of the 19th-century mass culture. The panorama stands in a circular fashion and, with the viewer in the center, presents different scenes at various viewing angles. It "transfers" the viewer into a different time and reality by combining a special kind of perspective with technical effects such as lighting, artificial terrain and the dark passage to the viewing platform.
The project was conceived as a patriotic manifestation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the victorious Battle of Raclawice, a famous episode of the Kosciuszko insurrection, a heroic but fallen attempt to defend Polish independence.
Tours and headphones in various languages are available. For ticket prices and operating hours details see Panorama's web site.
It has a 360 deg painting of the 1794 Battle of Raclawice. It was a quite huge painting, 114 m long and 15 m high. They have a quota of visitors in a session of 30 mins. When I was there, I had to wait almost one hour because I just missed the session and there were a group of students booked the next session after that...
The Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice.
Not even watching the video of how it was saved, mended and re-hung prepared us for the awesome spectacle of the actual painting and its diorama.
The only downside is that you are on a bit of a metaphorical conveyor belt and have only 30 minutes or so to view the scene. That said it beats the Bayeux Tapestry into a cocked hat and a 120 metre painting isn't something you see every day.
The English headsets were very good (and FREE).
I'd go back again and would have made a second visit the next day if we hadn't had other things planned.
The Raclawice Panorama is the most visited sight in Wroclaw. It can be busy at times but I discovered that lunchtime was a good time to visit. You purchase tour ticket for 20zl. It costs another 12.20zl if you want to take photos or 24.40zl for video, no tripods or flash are allowed. Tickets can be purchased in advance. You are given a time slot on the hour or half hour. There are a maximum number of 70 people allowed for each time slot. Just before your start time you are confronted by the last tour group leaving as there is only one entrance & exit. At the start of the tour you are equipped with a set of headphones that provide a number of language translations. During the tour you are moved around, to follow the story. What you see is a painting 114m long in circumference & 15 m high. It depicts the battle of Raclawice on the 4th April 1794 during which the Polish peasant army fought the Russian army to gain independence. The peasant army defeated the Russians but the insurrection was cruelly crushed 7 months later and Poland ceased to exist until WW1. The painting was commissioned in 1894 and took 9 months to complete. It is mostly the work of Wojciech Kossak & Jan Tyka. The painting has had a chequered history including being damaged during WW2 and it was not restored until it was acceptable to allow Polish Nationalism. After its restoration it has been at its present home since 1985. You stand in the centre of things viewing the various scene of the battle from different angles. What I liked about the experience was in the foreground there are rocks, shrubs & soil that reach out to the painting. You can't see the join and it gives this wonderful panoramic view, making you feel you are an observer of the battle.
If you visit Wroclaw you should not miss this monumental painting exhibited in a rotunda specially constructed in 1967.
The canvas is 120 meters long and 15 meters wide.
It depicts battle scenes of the victorious battle of the Polish army led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko who in 1794 led Polish insurgents against the Russian army.
The painting surrounds the spectator from all sides enabling to observe various episodes of the battle of Raclawice. Raclawice is a village situated near Cracow.