The uplifting memory of the battle held immense significance for the Polish nation, which had lost its sovereignty due to the partition treaties from 1772 to 1795. The Great National Exhibition in 1894 in Lwów presented the perfect occasion for the Styka project. A special canvas was custom-made in Brussels, while the iron structure of the supporting rotunda, designed by Ludwik Ramułt, was created in Vienna. The rotunda’s housing was constructed in Stryjski Park in Lwów in July 1893. The monumental canvas was finished in just nine months, between July 1893 and May 1894, and the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice officially opened on June 5, 1894. It captivated its visitors and attracted hordes of tourists to the city.
The painting withstood the ordeals of war and a tumultuous post-war era. It survived bombings and years of concealment in a makeshift wooden crate filled with rat poison. After World War II, it was moved to Wrocław along with part of the Ossolineum collection from Lwów. The painting became both a source of contention and a bargaining chip for high-level politicians during the complex post-war period influenced by the Soviet Union. Continue reading “Panorama of the Battle of Racławice – Wrocław”