History is omnipresent in Salzburg: architecture, music and art. But what did the city actually look like around 200 years ago? On Salzburg’s Residenzplatz there is a wonderful museum with a valuable treasure.

The Panorama Museum Salzburg houses a circular painting from around 1825, which offers magnificent views of Salzburg and the surrounding area. With a circumference of 26 meters, a height of 5 meters and an area of 130 m², it is a technical masterpiece. Lovingly restored, it now shines again in all its glory and should definitely be on every Salzburg visitor’s list of favorites.

Johann Michael Sattler (1786 – 1847)

The creator of the painting was Johann Michael Sattler. He was born in Lower Austria and studied painting at the Vienna Academy. He lived in Salzburg from 1819 and initially worked mainly as a portrait painter. Around 1825, he began the first sketches for the magnificent circular painting, which he completed in 1829 with the help of Friedrich Loos and Johann Josef Schindler.

What happened next makes the circular painting and Sattler’s story even more remarkable. From 1829 to 1839, Johann Michael Sattler toured Europe with his family and presented his circular painting.

The transportation alone must have been a great challenge. Sattler thus made Salzburg, its architecture and its charming landscape known throughout Europe. His travels took him to Vienna, Prague, Dresden and Berlin as well as to Oslo, Amsterdam, Paris and many other cities.

A historical panorama

The circular painting is extremely accurate in its topography and details and therefore of great historical value. Sattler drew the sketches for this from Hohensalzburg Fortress. The magnificent Salzburg Cathedral takes center stage. Detailed drawings of houses and magnificent buildings as well as lovingly designed scenes from everyday life lend the painting its special charm.

With around 16,000 inhabitants, Salzburg was only around a tenth of the size of today’s Salzburg. The district to the right of the still unregulated Salzach is particularly modest. Mirabell Palace was still on the outskirts of the city at the time.

The landscape in the background with the Kapuzinerberg and the towering Gaisberg is also remarkable. Even the pilgrimage site of Maria Plain with its church can be seen in the distant background.

The Panorama Museum Salzburg

Hubert Sattler, Johann Michael Sattler’s son, donated the painting to the city of Salzburg in 1870 together with his own city and landscape paintings.

Today, the important circular painting by Johann Michael Sattler and the city and landscape paintings by Hubert Sattler can be viewed in the Panorama Museum Salzburg at Residenzplatz 9. A specially constructed platform provides an excellent all-round view.

The museum is open daily from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Admission per adult is € 4.50. If you wish, you can also buy a combined ticket for the Salzburg Museum (Neue Residenz) and the Panorama Museum. The price for this is € 10.00 per adult.