Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth
The Margravial Opera House is regarded as a triumph of 18th century baroque theatre design. Visitors find the splendour of its interior simply awe-inspiring. The most beautiful baroque theatre remaining in Europe, it was built by Giuseppe Galli-Bibiena and his son Carlo, the most famous theatre architects of their day.
Unsurpassed in its perfection, the opera house in Bayreuth is a perfect example of 18th century courtly architecture and is considered one of the most important architectural monuments to the absolutist society. It was built between 1746 and 1750 for Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Kulmbach and his wife Wilhelmine. In terms of its scale and splendour, it was comparable only with the opera houses in Vienna, Dresden, Paris and Venice.
Still used for performances today, the opera house is a box theatre made completely of wood whose lavish, carved and painted decoration is like no other in the world. The Margravial Opera House was also one of the reasons for the composer Richard Wagner choosing Bayreuth as a venue for his theatre festivals. Despite being attracted by the unusually large stage for the time, he found that the size and shape of the auditorium made it unfit for his purposes.
Nevertheless, he still preferred Bayreuth as a festival venue and decided to build his own festival hall there.
Due to extensive renovation work, which is expected to last until 2018, the auditorium, stage and boxes at the Margravial Opera House are closed to visitors. However, in order to give you a vivid impression of this fantastic theatre while construction work is being carried out, the ‘Margravial Opera House information centre’ has been set up. The exhibition, which uses state-of-the-art 3D technology, provides a comprehensive insight into the architectural monument and its restoration.
Margravial Opera House Bayreuth
UNESCO World Heritage since 2012
From the selection criteria
The Committee recognizes the Margravial Opera House as “a unique monument of European festive and music culture of the Baroque era.” in terms of its
tiered loge form and acoustic, decorative and iconological properties.
Its original form and shape have been preserved unmodified until today.