Running approximately 1900 km from Putbus on the Baltic island of Rügen through Potsdam, Gotha and Schwetzingen to Bayreuth, the European Route of Historical Theatres offers a profile of the 18th and 19th century theatre world. You can either concentrate on smaller chunks of the route or simply visit the theatre found closest to your front door.
A journey through the world of European theatre
Until now, historical theatre buildings have remained a relatively unexplored treasure trove of culture. These buildings, however, chart Germany's development through the eras of Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Historicism and Art Deco and are worthy of being counted amongst Europe's other great tourist attractions. Whilst providing a glimpse behind the scenes, guided tours of the buildings also tell the stories of the art lovers who once realised their potential within the theatres' walls, and of those who are still doing so today.
Historical theatre and European cultural history
Visitors to some theatres can even see the original stage machinery, historical set pieces and costumes. And last but not least, visitors will also hear the stories of those lovers of art whose dreams were fulfilled on these stages, and which resulted in several new opera, theatre and festival halls, new theatrical forms of expression, innovative styles of directing and set pieces that continue to have an impact today. All across Europe, the old historical theatres are also open to visitors outside of performance times.
Theatre tradition and the appreciation of art
For most people, the word "theatre" conjures up images of performances and perhaps even the theatre companies that put on these performances; yet it is true that when people "go to the theatre", they also visit a building, appreciate its architecture, rooms and ambience and get a sense of its hidden history. This history can be seen in the great variety of styles on display at these theatres, for example the Neubrandenburg Theatre's simple half-timbered construction dating from 1794, jewels of Northern German Classicism such as Putbus Theatre (1821/1826) or the splendid Margravial Opera House (Markgräflichen Opernhaus) in Bayreuth dating from 1748.
Length: approximately 1900 km (in Germany)
Theme: historical theatre buildings
Bad Lauchstädt: the Goethe Theatre
Bayreuth: the Margravial Opera House
Gotha: the Ekhof Theatre
Großkochberg: the Liebhaber Theatre at Kochberg Castle
Hanau: the Wilhelmsbad Comedy House (Comödienhaus Wilhelmsbad)
Ludwigsburg: palace theatre
Potsdam: the Palace Theatre in the New Palace (Schlosstheater im Neuen Palais)
Putbus: Putbus theatre
Schwerin: Mecklenburg State Theatre (Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater)
Schwetzingen: Rococo theatre
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