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A Saunter Along Sauchiehall Street (3 km)

Point D - National Panorama

In 1888, Glaswegians could visit the ‘Great Scottish National Panorama‘, in Sauchiehall Street (Scott Street corner), to see a giant, visual representation of the battle of Bannockburn from 1314. It had been painted by the artist Ernst Philipp Fleischer (1850 – 1930) of Munich.

The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was of course the defeat of England’s Edward II by the Scots under Robert Bruce, a battle which secured Scottish independence.

The image was the property of a limited company, the Scottish Panorama Company, the managing director of which was Scottish hotelier Albert M. Theim, who purchased several of Fleischer’s panoramas. Large segments of the original panoramas of ‘The Battle of Bannockburn’ and ‘The Battle of Omdurman’ can today be viewed on the walls of the Bannockburn Room at Peebles Hydro Hotel in the Scottish Borders and

The building, which was eventually incorporated into the ABC cinema/nightclub complex, was originally built in 1875 as the Diorama, featuring canvases of historic events, then the Panorama in 1878, where the images were animated by having the canvases scroll, then Hubner’s Ice-Skating Palace in 1885. It had been fitted with electricity in 1888, one of the first buildings in the city to have this feature, making it ideal as the site of Glasgow’s first public film showing, in May 1896. This history can be explored further here:

Read the full story here. The AM Thiem mentioned was German chef/hotelier Albert Thiem, who would go on to manage Glasgow’s Windsor Hotel. His brother, E. W. Thiem, managed the old St Enoch Station Hotel.

A small piece of the arched building could still be seen from Scott Street in August 2021:

Photo of Arches of the Panorama Building – J. Wilson, August 2021

The National Library of Scotland maps can be explored.
These two images show a map from around 1900 alongside the current day image of the sadly now burned down O2 ABC Nightclub. These maps certainly would indicate that the venue is one and the same place. View Side by Side maps: