The construction of National Theatre in 1868-1881 mirrors the beauty of neo-renaissance architecture. Though the theater’s initial years started on an unsteady note due to lack of funds, the spirit of unity among all the classes of society facilitated the construction until the foundation stone laid on May 16, 1868. The year and date were noted in history as the day when one of Czech’s prominent historical monuments would take form. Years passed until 1881 when the theater held its first performance in the honor of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria.
In 1881, the National Theatre suffered another blow when a fire destroyed a major part of the building bringing it to ruins. The copper dome, the auditorium and the stage of the theater was unrecognizable needing a drastic restoration on a grand scale. Despite the fact that the renovation was going to need large amounts of money, people jovially put in their own funds and collected nearly millions of gulden’s in just 47 days. This time architect Josef Schulz was summoned to work on the construction and the reinstitution of the structure. He suggested an expansion of the edifice by including the blocks behind the Provisional Theatre. While reinstating the building to its original glory, Schulz made sure that the Josef Zítek vision remained intact. He managed to blend the three buildings in a unique architectural style.
From 1883 onwards:
The building was reopened on November 18, 1883, with a performance of Smetana’s festive opera Libuše composed especially for this occasion. For almost hundred years the theater continued to entertain with no major hurdles until April 1, 1977, when it was closed for six years.
The theater was renovated once again in with Architect Zdeněk Vávra taking charge of the work. The deadline of the renovation was finally completed on November 18, 1983; the 100th anniversary of the National Theatre when it opened to a performance of Libuše. Today, the historic building also consists of a modern office building which includes the box office.
Komerční banka, one of the main banks in Czech Republic signed an agreement with National Theatre to annually honor the best performances in three categories – ballet, opera, and drama. Along with a statue designed by Jaroslav Róna, each winner also receives 100,000 Czech korun.
National Theatre stages one of the finest Prague Operas in Europe. Visit Prague to enjoy a repertoire of opera, ballet, and classical concerts.
Ticket sales information
+420 224 901 448
Box Office Timings
Every day from 10 am to 6 pm and 45 minutes before the beginning of performances open at the National Theatre historical building, the Estates Theatre and the Kolowrat Theatre