De Agostini/Getty Images
Erika Owen
August 04, 2015

There's really only one thing to see at the Salzburg Panorama Museum, but that single attraction is well worth the trip—a 410-square-foot panorama painted by Johann Michael Sattler in 1829. The scene features what the city looked like from the top of the Salzburg castle at the time, with locals milling about on their daily to-dos. Museum visitors can dig into the details of the 186-year-old painting with on-site telescopes. The entire scene wraps around the room; in other words, a bad angle doesn't exist.

Even more interesting than the mural itself may be its history: This painting was a crowd-drawing attraction even in its earlier days. The panorama made its way around Europe in the 19th century before finding a temporary home in the Salzburg Spa Gardens. The work was put into storage until 1970s when it continued its world tour. In the mid-2000s, the painting found a permanent home at the Salzburg Panorama Museum after heavy restoration. The painting was created in a time before cameras, so viewers would use the artwork as a way to "experience" life in another part of the world—a sentiment that's still lived out today, with a bit of time travel thrown in for fun.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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