About Siege of Sevastopol Museum
The Siege of Sevastopol Museum, also known as the Sevastopol Panorama, is a museum which chronicles the siege of the port of Sevastopol by British, French and Turkish forces against the Russians during the Crimean War.
History of the Siege of Sevastopol Museum
Sevastopol is a port of strategic importance, and previously held the Tsar’s Black Sea Fleet. The (first) Siege of Sevastopol began in September 1854, during the Crimean War. It lasted eleven months and ended in the retreat of the Russians and their ultimate defeat in the Crimean War: only 75,000 Russians managed to defeat over 173,000 British and French troops. Unsurprisingly, the Siege has gone down as a moment of glory in Russian history, and has been memorialised ever since.
In 1901, the Russian artist Franz Rouband began work on a panorama painting of the siege. After months of studying accounts of the battle and talking to eyewitnesses, Roubaud began creating the full size panorama, which measures 14m by 115m. The painting depicts the Allied assault on the Malakhov Battery in June 1855.
A special building had to be created in order to house the mammoth picture – this opened in May 1905, on the 50th anniversary of the defence of Sevastopol. .
The city was under siege again during the Second World War over the winter of 1941-2. The Axis powers initially failed to capture the port, but eventually succeeded following a renewed assault in summer 1942.
The Siege of Sevastopol Museum today
Along with the ginormous painting, various 3D props bring to life the siege today. The interior can get a little crowded at peak times, so if you’re visiting during the summer months, it’s worth coming at off peak times.
Entry is via guided tour only: these leave regularly, at allotted times. English or German language tours are a fixed price per group. The museum is closed on Mondays, and also closed on Tuesdays between September and May. There’s some signage in English, but it’s relatively minimal.
Getting to the Siege of Sevastopol Museum
The museum is on Istorychnyi Blvd in the city of Sevastopol. Buses stop on nearby Hoholya Street if you’re using public transport, or Sevastopol’s train station is only a short walk away. Otherwise, access the museum via Bastionna Street.