June 25, 2003
There is an audio program that runs for 15 minutes and alternates between English and French. When we arrived, the French narrative had just begun so it gave us the time to walk around in the opposite direction of the rest of the audience. (I listen to the French narration with half an ear).
What you get are the sounds of everyday life in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. You hear sheep baaing, bells clanging, people bartering and hooves clashing on the stones. There is also music appropriate to the time, reminiscent of the music in The Ten Commandments.
Everything is very much in 3-D without the glasses. As you look at the walls surrounding the city, you feel as if you were on a hill looking into the city. You follow a lighted ball as it travels 360 degrees around the inside of the building. There is plenty of drama and it was enough to keep Alex interested. He actually founded it fascinating, which is quite amazing, when you think about how easily kids get bored these days.
You can stay as long as you like and listen to the narrative more than once. For $2 extra, you can rent opera glasses and I recommend that you do. There is an amazing amount of detail that is not visible to the naked eye. There are people looking out the windows of Herod’s Palace, the streets are teeming with people going about their daily lives. You can observe a caravan as it makes its way toward the city.
The ending panel is the Crucifixion in all its gory detail. It is one of the few places where there are actually figures other than those painted on the canvas.
Cost of admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children. The Cyclorama is located in the southwest corner of the parking lot for the Basilica. It doesn’t have a gift shop of its own but there are several nearby.
From journal Quebec with Alex