During the summer, S and I wanted to check out some of the local tourist attractions around Stuttgart. I’d heard about a special Rome 312 Panorama exhibit at the Gasometer Pforzheim, an exhibition space inside of a refurbished industrial gas storage facility. We decided to check it out on a weekday afternoon.
There was plenty of free parking outside the exhibit when we arrived. We purchased our tickets inside and were guided into the lower foyer which provided background information about the ancient world’s most powerful city at the time of Emperor Constantine. The exhibition details the life and times of Emperor Constantine, who declared Christianity the state religion at that time and made Rome the religion’s world centre.
After the introduction, we made our way inside the tower and were immediately overwhelmed by the spectacular panoramic image. Measuring 40 metres high and 40 metres wide, the view of ancient Rome is a sight to behold. Background sounds of people talking, dramatic music, and barnyard animals bleating and crowing bring the whole scene to life.
We made our way up the 15 metre high visitor platform where we could sit or walk around to take in all the views. Every 10 minutes or so, the lights would dim to simulate nighttime with crickets chirping to set the scene. After a few minutes, dawn would break and the hustle and bustle of daily Roman life would resume.
The level of detail captured by the artist Yadegar Asisi was unbelievable. I’m not sure how he managed to create such realistic images and layers of buildings with that enormous level of detail. Perhaps real models were used to pose as ancient Romans as the figures all looked incredibly lifelike.
Overall we spent about an hour at the exhibition. Though the admission was pricey (11 Euros per adult), I think it was a worthwhile, unique experience. I’ve been to plenty of museums but never to a panorama exhibit like that.
The Rome 312 Panorama exhibit has been extended until the end of 2016, so there’s still plenty of time to go if you’re interested.
How to get there: The Gasometer Pforzheim is located in Pforzheim, roughly 45 km northwest of Stuttgart. The exhibit is open every day from 10am to 6pm (8pm on Thursdays). For more information, please visit the Gasometer Pforzheim website.
Have you been to the Rome 312 Panorama at the Gasometer Pforzheim or another panorama exhibit? What did you think?