Photographs of the past tell us a story of how people lived and what a place was like without having to imagine it. Paintings portray the story in a realistic way that is almost like a photograph. What happens when you blend the two together and display it in a way that makes you feel part of the painting? Would you feel like you entered a time warp? If you didn’t know, Dresden has a fascinating history that peaked proudly as a cultural European city before the bombings of WWII. Nonetheless, The Dresden Panometer will take you on a journey like no other to witness what life was like in Dresden in this time.
What is a Panometer?
When I first heard of a panometer, I thought what metric measurement was I missing now? Oddly enough to say, a panometer is not a measurement, unless it is a measurement of time being portrayed. Austrian born artist and extraordinaire Yadegar Asisi coined the term Panometer as a mix of a “panorama” and “gasometer”. It is a panoramic painting inside a former gasometer displaying Dresden as it appeared from 1695-1760. These gasometers are the perfect place for these paintings because of their circular shape and vast size. Once placed into this gasometer, visitors can view the massive painting from a viewing platform. You may wonder how on earth is a painting sized 128 ft in height and 177 ft in diameter is created…
Made of polyester, this image is composed of 37 panels put together. It is a digital display, because the painting changes from night to day. Accompanied by sounds, it amplifies the experience even more to make you feel like you’re waking up at dawn with local Dresdeners and watching as the city shuts down at sunset. The panting was made from reproductions of old paintings, maps and drawings from the 18th and 19th century.
Dresden in the Moment
It was the time of Augustus the Strong; when Baroque Dresden shined. The picturesque views on the River Elbe is how Dresden is always remembered. It was in this reign when art collections began; which is why Dresden is a great city to visit if you’re an art aficionado. The highlight of this mass collection being the purchase of Raphael’s Sistine Madonna; a precious portrait adored worldwide.
Besides the actual Panometer, you get to view an exhibition of the history of Dresden during this time frame.
Pictures speak Louder than Words
Looking at the Dresden Panometer is almost like a game of Where’s Waldo? The view is from the Church of the Cross, looking out towards the city. You can find poignant persons significant to Dresden during this time such as:
- Dresden Tsar Peter I
- Countess Cosel
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Augustus the Strong
- Scenery architectural views by Canaletto
- The arrival of the Sistine Madonna
Honestly, you’ve got to see it to believe it:
A Video of the Transition from Day to Night
This brings this art piece alive into the 21st century by watching the light fixtures bring Dresden from day to night in an interactive way that keeps your eyes glued to everything going on in town.
Photographs from the Panometer
My impression of the Dresden Panometer was nothing less of spectacular. I had no idea what to expect when I was told I would see Dresden from a unique perspective and it goes far beyond that experience. The transitions from day to night, the audio of the sounds of Dresden back in time and the explanation of the intricate work done to create this masterpiece makes it so especially impressive. If you know nothing about Dresden, I would begin here to understand its history, the famous landscape skyline and how modern this city is to create something special like this.
Best of all, I think anyone and everyone can enjoy this from solo travelers, to families with children. It’s a history lesson in disguise while viewing something really cool and precious to the city of Dresden. I’ll tell you one thing, New York City may have tons of museums, but it has nothing like this!
If you were impressed by the Dresden Panometer, make sure to check out the other panometers in other German cities for interesting views of the Berlin Wall and Mt. Everest. You can even buy tickets online to get your chance to see any of these amazing art structures.
This trip to Dresden was sponsored by Dresden Marketing but the thoughts and opinions are those of the Admin.