Opened on June 1, the Battle Abbey was designed
as a 400 x 250 foot old convent near Hastings, England,
where the Normans defeated the Saxons. It was fashioned
complete with towers, bastions, parapet, drawbridge;
essentially it was a museum of American Wars
with six huge cycloramas depicting famous American
battles such as Gettysburg and Manassas.
The whole conveyed a very realistic impression of the
horrors of war. An able lecturer explained the action
and called attention to details. Smaller war scenes and an
extensive collection of war relics filled the remainder of
The attendants were dressed in both Union and Confederate
Building cost: 62,000 dollars
Price of Admission- 25 cents adults, 15 cents children
Exhibition Profit- 52,980.03 dollars
Lee Gaskins' AT THE FAIR The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Web Design and Art/Illustration copyrighted 2008
Additional cycloramas were shown which included depictions of the battles of Yorktown, New Orleans, Buena Vista, Custer's Massacre and Manila.
The Gettysburg cyclorama was 50 feet high and 400 feet in circumference and was brilliant in detail.
The Battle Abbey was one of the few attractions that lost money.
Two of the five below-mentioned cycloramas- Custer's Last Stand and the Battle of Yorktown in the Battle Abbey.