The word for Dresden is re-creating. The city has been re-created, as it existed before it was bombed during the Second World War. As if they wanted to go even more back in time. They created a Panometer Dresden – a giant painting inside an out of use but giant cylindrical Gasometer. They engaged Austrian artist Yadegar Assisi to re-create the city of Dresden. As it existed in 1756 using a technique that mixes many art forms from pictures to paintings to architectural drawings to technical elements to create drama. Why 1756 – because this was the time of Augustus the Strong. The most famous monarch of Dresden and probably the most prosperous time the city has seen under him.
Panometer Dresden – Recreating Dresden of 1756
A 4 storey structure stands in the middle of this giant painting that is spread out on the inside of the cylindrical building. About 30 meters tall and 105 meters in circumference. From every level, the painting looks different but you get the best view from the top storey. Here you almost see at an eye level as if you are standing on the horizon looking at a living city. The work is almost real life.
Light & Sound Show
In about 6 minutes, the light and sound show takes you through a day in Dresden. It begins with the dawn, with light rays falling on the city to increasing luminosity of the sun. Sounds are subtle but nonetheless an integral part of creating the ambience. In the evening you can hear the prayer sounds as the sun goes down. Some windows in the houses light up to show that the city is a living city. And people are perhaps having their dinner inside these lit up houses. You can move around the paintings and through as many cycles of the show you can see various parts of the city during various times of the day.
There is even a display of fireworks, earthquake, court jesters and horse-drawn carriages. The spires and domes of the churches and chapels are so clear that you see them the best in this painting rather than with your naked eye. When there is a far bigger distance between your eye and the monument and many more obstructions in between. Music has been specifically created for this ambience and it quite takes you back in time.
A guide can explain the whole of the city from this one painting. Then you can go to the city looking for those landmarks that you saw on the painting. Of course, the painting depicts 1756. There are many new developments since then that are bound to create the difference. There are paintings around the main tower that showcase the various aspects of the city and its life. Including an ivory flee remover that probably has an Indian connection.
This is not just a monument for the tourists to visit, it is also a living space as it hosts exhibitions and can be hired for private events like dinners or corporate events. A small film showcases the creation of this masterpiece. It is interesting to hear Assisi speak about it. And see visuals of him going up and down a lift around the city, photographing it. Going through the computerized matching of the pictures with architectural drawing and scenes in the paintings. He also talks about his other creations that include a rainforest panorama. Add a visit to Panometer to the list of Things to do in Dresden, Germany.
I wish we could create something like this to re-create the glorious past of India too. Hope some higher forces are listening.
Recommend you to read following Travel Blog on Germany Tourist Attractions.