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“Highly recommend personally guided tour!!”

Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center
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Gettysburg Heritage Center and Museum Admission
Ranked #2 of 108 things to do in Gettysburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: "A New Birth of Freedom," narrated by Morgan Freeman, orients you to the battle; then see the sights and hear the sounds of the battle in the historic Cyclorama Painting Experience. Finally, tour the museum, packed with original artifacts and interactive exhibits. Tickets and shuttle bus to Eisenhower National Historic Site and seasonal programs at Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital from Visitor Center. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, USA Today Top 10 Places to Visit, AAA Gem. Purchase tickets prior to your arrival online and reserve a Battlefield Guide (licensed through the National Park Service) through the Gettysburg Foundation, non-profit partner to the National Park Service at Gettysburg. Admission fee for Cyclorama, Film and Museum. Entry to Visitor Center, Museum Bookstore and Refreshment Saloon is free.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 5, 2011

We did the 2 hour tour with a personal guide. They drive your vehicle and customize the tour to what you interested in seeing/learning. We had a fantastic, friendly, knowledgeable guide. She was awesome and we are definitely doing this type of tour when we go back.

1  Thank CinaCorsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,432 - 4,436 of 4,567 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2011

My boyfriend is on a cane. They went out of their way to accomodate him on an elevator when you needed to. Everyone must go there on their first trip to Gettysburg.

Thank baker1576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

The Cyclorama Display is a one of a kind, especially, when you consider that the entire 360 degree in the round scene was painted around 100 years ago and was recently restored for the opening of the new Gettysberg Museum in 2008. I'd put the Cyclorama up there with the Vietnam Memorial which is an equally moving experience.

1  Thank robby-d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

We originally visited Gettysburg ten years ago because it has a cyclorama (one of only two in the US; our visit to the other one in Atlanta prompted us to visit the cyclorama in Gettysburg).
Prior to movie theaters (in the 1800s), people visited cycloramas to get a "3-D" effect of a major event. One could stand surrounded by a painting. This one was painted by a French artist (Paul Dominique Philippoteaux) and was displayed in Boston, later moved to Gettysburg.

The "Cyclorama" was a very popular form of entertainment in the late 1800's. These massive oil-on-canvas paintings were displayed in special auditoriums and enhanced with landscaped foregrounds sometimes featuring trees, grasses, fences . The result was a three-dimensional effect that surrounded the viewers who stood on a central platform, literally placing them in the center of the great historic scene. Most cycloramas depicted dramatic events such as great battles. Hundreds were painted and exhibited in Europe and America during the 1800's, yet most were lost or destroyed as their popularity died out with the introduction of motion pictures.

A few years ago, the Gettysburg Cyclorama underwent a major renovation and restoration. (It reopened in 2008 in the Visitor Center.)
Now most people visit the Cyclorama immediately after seeing the movie, which puts the battle in perspective. The renovation included lights behind the painting which illuminate sections when they are described in the narration. (For example, when the narrator discussed the deaths, the lights behind the painting illuminate the fallen warriors.) The narration begins with sunrise (and that part of the painting is illuminated). The renovation also added a diorama of inert materials (for example, log fences in the diorama lead next to the painted log fences of the cyclorama. Flash photography is not permitted so my photos do not do the painting justice.

My husband, who did not study US history and was not familiar with Civil War history, found the movie and Cyclorama quite educational. This was our favorite atraction in Gettysburg.
What we did that day was view the movie, view the cyclorama, visit the museum, visit the Battlefield (doing a self-guided driving tour).
There is food available for purchase in the Visitor Center building, but one should not eat while in the Cyclorama.

2  Thank ebfk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2011

We have visited Gettysburg every year for the past 13 years and never went to the visitor center. We were especially interested in the cyclorama and museum, in all our years in GBG we had never seen the Cyclorama. Very surprised to say the least! What a great attraction! Worth seeing!

Thank lias1_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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