For Civil War buffs or those interested in learning about it, the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum offers an up-close look at the drama of the July 1864 Battle of Atlanta.
The major feature of the Cyclorama is a massive painting in the round and diorama. The painting the largest oil painting in the world, weighing more than 10,000 lbs. has been on display in Atlanta since 1893, with the diorama added in 1936. This foreground provides a three-dimensional quality that blends perfectly with the painting. A Cyclorama tour begins with a short film that describes the events leading up to the Battle of Atlanta. As the theater rotates for an up-close view of the entire painting, music, sound effects and narration enhance the presentation.
In addition to the painting, the Civil War-era locomotive "Texas" is on display at the museum, along with two floors of artifacts, weapons, uniforms, photos and videos.
The cast of "Gone With the Wind" visited the Cyclorama in December 1939. During the visit, Clark Gable told Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield that the only thing missing was Rhett Butler. Hartsfield had a figure of Gable as a fallen soldier sculpted and added to the diorama.
The Cyclorama is located in Grant Park, adjacent to Zoo Atlanta. Learn more at www.atlantacyclorama.org.