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“Fully Restored - An Amazing Work of Art”

Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center
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Gettysburg Heritage Center and Museum Admission
Ranked #2 of 109 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: Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed June 11, 2009

I've been visiting Gettysburg a couple times a year for the last 5 years, and have never had the opportunity to see the Cyclorama since its been undergoing a major restoration for the last several years. After finally seeing it in May '09, I have to say this is one of the most spectacular pieces of art I've ever seen. It's not just a painting, it's a 20'-ish tall by 400' wide painting of the battle of Gettysburg, and at the base of the painting the scene continues on a horizontal plane in 3-D. Very cool!

The only change I would like to see is that it would be nice to have more time to view the piece, and perhaps a more comfortable/relaxing setting. They corral the group into the viewing area, you listen to a narrative, then you are given a few minutes to look at the painting and everyone is ushered out. They also have some information on the restoration process which is also quite fascinating.

2  Thank asylum00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,585 - 4,589 of 4,650 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2009

The recently restored Gettysburg Cyclorama is a must-see when in Gettysburg. It is located on the top floor of the NPS Visitors' Center. Admission to the Cyclorama is included with your ticket to the movie and the gallery in the Visitors' Center. Admission to the Cyclorama, movie and galleries is about $8 for adults and $6 for kids. After you watch the movie, you exit the theater and go up an escalator into the middle of the Cyclorama. The painting is approx. 30 feet high and goes all the way around the circular room. In front of the painting is a life-size diorama depicting the scene of Pickett's charge on July 3, 1863. The diorama blends seamlessly into the painting. You almost cannot tell where the diorama ends and the painting starts. Once in the room, there is an audio and visual program which tells you about the painting and about the events which are depicted in the painting. There is also an NPS Ranger in the Cyclorama to answer any questions you have.

It is a very moving experience that everyone will enjoy.

3  Thank SPFEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2008

The new Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center opened on April 14th, replacing the old Visitor Center on Taneytown Road and Steinwehr Ave. At a cost of over $103 million dollars, it was expected to be the best museum dedicated to telling the story of the Battle of Gettysburg, with more artifacts and 'state-of-the-art' displays. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. Where there were over 6800 artifacts on display at the old museum, this new one only has about 1300. The entrance feels like an airport - huge and cold and impersonal. The 'story-line' galleries that are supposed to familiarize the visitor with the Battle are very cramped, very dimly lit, maze-like, and talk more about the Civil War in general than the Battle of Gettysburg. Strong emphasis is placed on slavery, and limited emphasis on what actually happened on July 1, 2, and 3rd, 1863. If you're at all claustrophobic, I'd advise you not try to go through the 11 'galleries'. They feel cave-like and are disorienting, with no defined directions as to how to make your way through. The 22 minute film, "A New Birth of Freedom," which costs $8.00 per adult, $6.50 per youth, is a montage of visual and audio assaults - starting with the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, it only devotes about one-third of the film to the Battle, and the rest is about slavery and its aftermath. There are three short films that are a part of the 'galleries', and they tell more about the Battle than the movie, and they're free. The Bookstore/ Gift Shop has outrageous prices. The same or simliar items can be found in town for much less money. .For example, a toy cannon that goes for $10 in the VC gift shop is usually about $5 or $6 dollars in town; post cards that cost 69 cents run between 25 cents to 35 cents in town. Many, many more examples of the high prices could be listed here. The Hardtack Cafe is also outrageously priced - a hot dog with chips and drink costs $6.75!
Parking is also a problem, because the lots are far from the building, and require an uphill walk to get to the Center, which lacks handicapped-accessible doors.
In all, my experience there was far less than satisfactory. If you want to see the new Center, my advice would be to skip the movie, and eat and shop in town - a lot more to choose from at much lower prices. The best part of Gettysburg is still the Battlefield itself, and it's still totally free!

12  Thank Battle_Student
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