See the Wocher Thun Panorama Painting in Schadau Park

The Thun Panorama by Marquard Wocher may be seen in Schadau Park on the shores of the Thunersee Lake in Switzerland.

Section of the Thun Panorama
Section of the Thun Panorama © Gottfried Keller-Stiftung

The Thun Panorama is a huge 360° painting of central Thun painted in the early nineteenth century by the Swiss artist Marquard Wocher. It is hung in a ring in a circular building so visitors can view it from the center as if standing in the heart of town as well. The Thun Panorama is in a dedicated building in Schadau Park in the southern suburbs of Thun on the lakeshore. Schadau Park has several further sights worth seeing including the Swiss Gastronomic Museum, the millennium-old Scherzligen Church, and of course magnificent views of the lake and Alps from the pleasant park.

The Thun-Panorama by Marquard Wocher

Thun-Panorama Exhibition Hall
Foto: Dominique Uldry / Kunstmuseum Thun

The Thun Panorama is a huge 38 by 7.5 m painting painted on paper between 1809 and 1814 by the Swiss artist Marquard Wocher. Panorama paintings, which were especially popular in Britain and Germany during the nineteenth century, were painted to hang in a circular building with the viewer enjoying the work from the center of the ring. The viewer placed in the heart of the 360° panorama thus should feel part of the action. These paintings were hugely popular in an age when foreign travel was still very difficult and rare for most Europeans.

The Thun Panorama shows the center of Thun as it was in the early nineteenth century when Wocher passed through the town. (He actually painted the 285 m2 work in Basel from sketches.) Visitors can see the painting from various levels from the pavilion in the center of the round exhibition hall – many structures survived to the present while the Alpine peaks are of course unchanged too.

Thun Panorama Detail Closeup
© Gottfried Keller-Stiftung

In addition to the buildings, Aare River, Lake Thun, and Alpine peaks, Wocher also painted daily life in Thun, as seen from a chimneystack in the heart of the old town. Visitors thus peek through windows into bourgeois homes, see market activities, traffic, and people going about their daily tasks.

The Thun Panorama was the first 360° painting in Switzerland and the oldest of this type to have survived. The Bourbaki painting in Lucerne is probably the most famous in Switzerland – mostly due to its favorable location in the heart of Luzern rather than the subject matter.

Visiting the Thun Panorama in the Berner Oberland

Thun Panorama

The Thun Panorama is in a dedicated round building in Schadau Park. It is open mid-May to late November – Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is CHF9, free for children under 16. A combination ticket with the Thun Kunstmuseum (Art Museum) is CHF15. The Swiss Museum Pass is valid.

Useful information sheets showing a modern photo of the same view and pointing out interesting features are available in several languages including English. A questionnaire keeps children busy (Tip: Count anything that could possibly be a horse or dog!)

For more detailed views of the painting see Thun Panorama.

Getting to Schadau Park, where the Wocher Panorama is exhibited, is easy from Thun’s old town, station, or lake boat landing. Simply stroll along Seestraße towards the lake and Alpine peaks. See Sights in Schadau Park in Thun for more details.

More on the Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Region:

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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