Museum and Visitor Center
The Museum and Visitor Center is the start of your experience
Those who lived the dramatic and tragic events at Gettysburg in 1863 still have something important to teach us about citizenship, leadership, conflict and conciliation in American democracy that remains timeless and relevant to our lives today.
The battle comes to life when you:
- Listen to Abraham Lincoln's words in the film, A New Birth of Freedom
- Learn about soldier and civilian life in the Leed-Gold certified, Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War where 12 galleries feature relics of the Battle of Gettysburg and personalities who served in the Civil War; interactive exhibits; and multimedia presentations covering the conflict from beginning to end, and, in particular, the Battle of Gettysburg and its terrible aftermath.
- Feel the cannon and gunfire in the colossal, Cyclorama painting experience, a 377-foot painting in the round that immerses you in the fury of Pickett's Charge
Afterward, walk in their footsteps with understanding and pause to "ponder and dream."
About the Visitor Center
The Visitor Center provides a comfortable environment from which visitors can learn about the sacrifices made during the Battle of Gettysburg and the causes and the consequences of the American Civil War. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center was designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) performance certification standards and was awarded Gold Level Certification in 2010. LEED certification is determined by the U.S. Green Building Council, which sets voluntary standards for high performing, sustainable buildings.
Click here for a map of the Museum and Visitor Center.
Visitors on the platform during the Cyclorama Light and Sound Experience, where they hear the roar of cannons and see the battle come to life in the 375 foot painting in the round.
Immerse Yourself in the Gettysburg Experience
Surround sound and sweeping imagery tell the story of the Battle of Gettysburg within the context and causes of the American Civil War in the film, A New Birth of Freedom, sponsored by the History Channel and narrated by Morgan Freeman.
After the film, you will experience the sights and sounds of the battle in the historic, Cyclorama painting-in-the-round - longer than a football field and weighing 12.5 tons!
Allow 45 minutes, plus time in the Museum.
Visit a World-Class Civil War Museum
The Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War
In 12 galleries, LETTERS speak to longing, fear and homesickness. DRUMS AND BUGLES echo sounds of battle. BLOODSTAINED STRETCHERS scream the wounded’s pain. BULLET HOLES in bedposts show that no one could hide and CANNONS mirror might.
Special Exhibit: "With Brush, Mold, Chisel, and Pen: Reflections on Civil War Art" features some of the most celebrated artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Admission to this special exhibit is included with the purchase of Film, Cyclorama and Museum Experience and museum-only tickets.
Visitors tell us they spend anywhere from a half-hour (for a quick walk through) to 2 hours in the Museum.
Refreshment Saloon and Battlegrounds Cafe
After the film and Cyclorama, take a coffee break at the Battleground Café or have a leisurely lunch in the Refreshment Saloon, modeled after an actual Civil War-era saloon. Refreshment saloons were created and run by citizen volunteers in storefronts or near railroad stations, and offered a blanket and a meal, or just a place to rest for battle-worn troops.
Our Refreshment Saloon offers everything from salads and hot soups, to burgers and pizza and can handle large groups. Looking for a space to hold your corporate event or special family gathering? Contact our Event Staff to plan an occasion that is historic!
Some of the many Lincoln-related items in the Museum Bookstore.
A percentage of your purchase in the Museum Bookstore goes toward making Gettysburg a place that educates and inspires new generations of visitors - a place that honors America by promoting a better understanding of how the struggles of 1863 relate to the challenges we face today.
The bookstore carries history and guidebooks for adults and children, as well as gifts, memorabilia, souvenirs and even locally produced fudge!
The Visitor Center also houses the National Park Service (NPS) Information Desk. Schedules and information on a variety of NPS Ranger-led programs, held throughout the year, are available. See the Gettysburg National Military Park website for more information about NPS at Gettysburg.
McKenna Foundation Resource Room
The McKenna Foundation Resource Room gives visitors free access to information about the people who lived, worked and fought in Gettysburg, the Battle of Gettysburg, the artifacts collection at Gettysburg National Military Park, and the Gettysburg battlefield monuments. In the McKenna Foundation Resource Room, visitors have free access to several databases, including Ancestry.com, Fold 3 and National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database. The McKenna Foundation Resource Room is available through generous funding provided by the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation.
For more information, please read this blog post from Gettysburg National Military Park.
For Your Safety
Please note, backpacks are prohibited: The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park is not a federal facility, but backpacks are not permitted inside. Please stow your backpack in your vehicle before entering the facility. We appreciate your cooperation. Service dogs are welcome in the Visitor Center; pets are not allowed. For more policies, click here.