Baroque Theatres

Baroque Theatres

Travel back in time and check out where our ancestors used to go for entertainment!

There are several preserved historical theatres, some of which were built in the 17th century, to visit in the Czech Republic, including those of great interest in Český Krumlov, at Valtice Castle and in Litomyšl. You will discover complete historical scenes, decorations and the costumes used to entertain the nobility about three hundred years ago.

One of Its Kind in Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is home to one of the best preserved Baroque theatres in the world. It is a part of the castle compound included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list. There are four preserved theatres with decorations and equipment from the 18th century throughout the world, the one in Český Krumlov is the oldest.
 
The theatre was built in 1680 by the owner of the estate, the Prince of Eggenberg, because the halls of the Krumlov Castle were no longer sufficient for performances. The theatre was reconstructed into its current Baroque look in 1762. The preserved repertoire is quite extensive. During the 17th and 18th centuries, over 2,400 librettos for drama, comedies, musicals and ballets were collected in the castle library. The collection also includes several hundred sets of music scores. In addition, there is the original stage, lighting, extinguishing and signalling technology, effect machines, decorations, costumes, acting and scenic props and all period costumes.
 
The theatre is only used on special occasions and at festivals, but it serves as an unusual theatre museum. You can visit the theatre on a tour at the Český Krumlov Castle. Some of the curiosities include lighting bowls used to light or dim the entire stage, a flying cart, a fountain and a period machine for the production of the crashing of waves, lightning and thunder.
 

Newly Opened Theatre in Valtice

The theatre building at the castle in Valtice, located in the Lednice Valtice Cultural Landscape included in UNESCO, was built in 1790, and it was the last object of the castle reconstruction in the 17th and 18th century when the castle was transformed into the main representative Baroque home of the Lichtenstein family. The theatre has been recently reconstructed and you can now see what it looked like when it was finished.
 
The historical scene was almost destroyed in the 20th century. However, it has been restored based on incomplete historical Valtice sources, rare photographs and also on the example of several preserved Baroque theatres in Europe. A place where one of Mozart’s compositions was played for the first time, its tour will also let you experience a chapter in the thousand-year-long cultural history of this noble home. You can see a replica of wooden machinery that moves the props, and further see what the theatre was like from the position of the nobility as well as the artists and machinery operators, who also made sounds, such as rain or thunder.
 

Litomyšl Theatre

The Baroque theatre in Litomyšl in East Bohemia was founded in 1797 as the last part of the castle. The theatre was used extensively until the mid-19th century, both for theatrical performances and for concerts. The earl’s family often performed in plays and used to invite the nobility as well as the citizens of Litomyšl. The theatre has been preserved almost in the original condition, including stage props, decorations and stage lighting. You can visit the theatre and the backstage area during regular castle tours in the summer tourist season between April and October.