The Raclawice Panorama Museum is just across the street from the Radisson Blu Hotel, Wroclaw. The city is home to many Polish cultural gems and one of the finest is the majestic Raclawice panorama. This 15x114 meter wide cycloramic painting, depicting the Battle of Raclawice, takes you back into a completely different time. Different kinds of perspective and technical effects come together to create a reality of its own and is the oldest and only extant example of a panorama painting in Poland. Jan Styka had the idea for the masterpiece and invited renowned battle-painter Wojciech Kossak, along with several others, to participate in creating the panoramic. Today multimedia installations, a visitor’s center and several exhibitions come together with the unique illusionist painting to tell an important story.
A patriotic piece of artThe Raclawice Panorama was completed in May 1894 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Raclawice, depicting the famous battle where Polish insurgents fought occupying Russian forces. In 1794, Tadeusz Kosciuszko led the Polish into battle against the Russian General Tormasov. Kosciuszko won the battle but did not win the war and the Kingdom of Poland was partitioned off to its neighbors and ceased to exist until it regained independence in 1918. When the painting was created it served as a patriotic manifestation of Polish independence.
Wroclaw’s main attractionIn 1894 the National Exhibition took place in Lvov and offered an excellent opportunity to realize Styka’s idea of a panoramic painting. Canvas was woven to order and a specially built rotunda iron structure was built in the city. After nine months the Panorama Raclawicka was finished and ready for visitors. 75,000 people on average visited the painting yearly during its first years of display. After World War II the painting was moved to Wroclaw, where it stands today. During the Communist regime the subject was considered politically sensitive and efforts to have it restored were not successful until August 1980. Five years later it reopened to the public and became one of the main attractions in Wroclaw.
Devoted presentationsWhen you enter the Panorama Raclawicka building you can either let yourself be immersed by the painting itself or learn more about the battle at the exhibitions. Four semi-circular apses feature multimedia presentations devoted to the artists, the history of the painting, other European panoramas and the project itself. There are also several exhibitions that tell the story of the battle, showcasing both weapons and uniforms.
You can enjoy this unique painting and return to a comfortable and stylish home away from home, centrally located to all Wroclaw has to offer, just across the street from the Raclawice Panorama.