Panometer Dresden – Recreating Dresden Of 1756


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 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. 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.

Panometer Dresden - Dramatic re-creation of Dresden of 1756
Panometer Dresden – Dramatic re-creation of Dresden of 1756

Why 1756 – because this was the time of Augustus the Strong. The most famous monarch of the region and probably the most prosperous time the city has seen under him.

Panometer Dresden – Recreating Dresden of 1756

Dresden of 1756 re-created
Dresden of 1756 re-created

A 4 story 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 story. 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.

The city just comes alive
The city just comes alive

Light & Sound Show at Panometer Dresden

In about 6 minutes, the light and sound show takes you through a day in the city. It begins with the dawn, with light rays falling on the city to increase the luminosity of the sun. Sounds are subtle but nonetheless an integral part of creating the ambiance. 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, earthquakes, 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 ambiance and it quite takes you back in time.

Gasometer that hosts the Panometer
Gasometer that hosts the Panometer


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 in the painting. Of course, the painting depicts 1756. There are many new developments since then that are bound to create a difference. There are paintings around the main tower that showcase the various aspects of the city and its life. Including ivory flee remover that probably has an Indian connection.

Yadegar Assisi - the artist behind the recreation of the city
Yadegar Assisi – the artist behind the recreation of the city

Lively Place

This is not just a monument for 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 drawings 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 the following travel blog posts on Germany Tourist Attractions.

Walk Around Dresden Old Town

Admiring The Meissen Porcelain

Bastei Rocks of Saxon Switzerland

Leipzig – A City that Celebrates Music

Malgorzata Chodakowska – Sculpting Wine

Spinnerei Leipzig – From Cotton to Culture

Volkswagen Transparent Factory

First Impressions of Germany


  1. Nice concept, but in India we have certain abandoned cities (from the Mughal times) that are intact with all the Mughal buildings and architecture even today. Fatehpur Sikri, for example, was abandoned immediately after Akbar built it and the entire city is quite well preserved even today.

    Of course, we can create the panoramic experience for other places in India that are much older – Mauryan times or even before. But that will be a huge challenge.

    Destination Infinity


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