Burgtheater - Austrian National Theatre

Burgtheater - Austrian National Theatre

The National Theatre of Austria - another very important symbol of Vienna is the National Theatre of Austria that is located on Ringstrasse and we can say that this is one of the most elite theatres in the world. This is a stage that hosted many famous names of the art scene.

In 1741, the first Burgtheater (The National Theatre) at Saint Michael Square was opened. Because of her personal wish for the theatre to be near her residence, Maria Theresa took the initiative for opening the theatre. The ballroom was converted into a palace theatre. It was mostly used by her and her family. Plays were conducted in Italian and French, and very seldom in German. The reform of the theatre was done in 1776, when Maria Theresa’s son, Joseph II, renamed it to Nationaltheater nächst der Burg, and both the actors and the staff became court officials. In 1794, the theatre was renamed to  K.K. Hoftheater nächst der Burg.

During that period, the focus was on conducting plays in German, in order to bolster culture identity through language. However, nowadays, the theatre has on its website clearly stated that the past is the past , and, aware of the fact that Vienna is a world metropolis, it highlights the fact that all languages are equally welcome. In 1988, the construction of the new theatre building was finished, and in the same year, the last play in the old building was conducted.

The new building was being built for 14 years. It is the work of the architects Gottfried Semper and Karl Hagenauer. Actors and theatre lovers complained about the bad acoustics, so in 1897, an adaptation was made.

However, during the Second World War, the theatre was damaged to a great extent, however, it opened its door again in 1955, and since then, it has been the most important theatre in Austria and one of the most important sights in Vienna.

The interior is impressive because of its French baroque style, the stairs with the frescos of Gustav and Ernest Klimt. It is very gracious. The whole building is quite magical because of its architecture and all the sculptures inside. If you happen to visit Vienna, you should visit the theatre, as well.

Three operas by Mozart were held in this theatre, and Beethoven’s symphony was performed here as well in 1800. Burgtheater is nowadays a famous place of artists and art in general, open for all nations and languages.

Tickets for the theatre can be purchased on this link

Author of the article:

Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
Contact: [email protected]; instagram: travel_europe1

photo credit: Arno Senoner

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