Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Narodni Divadlo - The National Theater

After the Bouda Theater was demolished in 1789, there was no available theater for the national movement. In 1844, František Palacký, František Ladíslav Rieger and Alois Pravoslav Trojan joined together to establish a ne nationalist theater for Prague. Originally a plot was designated at the base of Vaclavské nam - Wenceslas Square, but in 1852 a plot of land was bought on the Vltava Embankment where the National Theater satnds today on Narodni where the most Legii or Legion Bridge crosses over to Vitězná. Josef Zítek won a competition for the design in which Ignac Ullman and Niklas also contributed proposals. The theater is constructed in late Italian Renaissance style and was completed in 1881. Ullmann built a provisional theater adjoining the rear end of the plot designated for the main theater which had the capacity of 900 seats. Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out which destroyed the auditorium, stage and roof. From that time, until 1911, the theater was under continual reconstruction and internal artistic development as national artists contributed their works in murals, sculpture and decorative works. In 1954, the theater was in bad state and needed renovation for electrical and technical support. At the same time, the new building for the National Theater was planned and constructed in the adjoining plot which today attracts local skateboarders.

The theater is seen from the island under the bridge.


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