Panorama of Pleven – a unique historical experience

Hi everyone! Today I want to share a recent experience I had during a trip with friends. We planned to spent last weekend (St. Valentine’s) together and to travel to the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome there, but what I want to talk about is the city of Pleven. We made a pit stop on our way and visited the Pleven Panorama!


Pleven is the seventh most populous city in Bulgaria. It is in the northern part of the country and is the administrative centre of both Pleven municipality and province. A lot can be said about Pleven (and you can read it in Wikipedia:, however what’s worth mentioning from my point of view is that the earliest human traces found there date bach to the Neolithic, 5th millennium BC, and that in 1877 the city (then mostly known as Plevna out of Bulgaria) was a major battle scene during the Russo-Turkish war. According to the ‘Struggle for Mastery’ by Taylor states that:

Plevna is one of the few engagements that changed the course of history.

The Pleven Panorama

In 1977 for the 100th anniversary of the battle for the liberation of Pleven, a huge museum was built on the exact battlefield (now Skobelev Park). It was designed by e team of designers led by Plamena Tsacheva and Ivo Petrov and took almost 11 months to complete. The artistic part was authored by Nickolay Ovechkin and a team of 13 Russian and Bulgarian artists. The museum has 4 halls – Introductory hall, Panorama hall, Diorama hall and Final hall. While the Introductory and the Final hall contain some really impressive artwork and weaponry dating back from the battles, the Diorama and mostly the Panorama are where it gets interesting. Imagine a circle with a diameter of a little about 36.5 meters. Then imagine it’s outer edge lined with a 16 meter tall canvas. Then imagine all this painted with an epic battle scene. And finally imagine the ‘land’ between the centre of this circle and the canvas filled with a concrete (yes, amazing!) sculpture representing the battle field and almost seamlessly connecting with the canvas behind it.

The artists portrayed the effect so well, that at some point you are destined to think about where exactly does the sculpture end and the canvas begin. There are sections of the panorama where it takes a lot of staring to actually make out the fine line.
I can tell you more about the museum, but you can just read up on it on their website ( I prefer to show you a few images of the Panorama.




And, remember… if you are ever in Pleven, not visiting this amazing monument is simply a crime towards your cultural development!

Well, have you been there? Leave a comment below or drop me a line on to share your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.