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Slovak Chamber Theatre

Blažej Bulla

alias Národný dom/National House
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1890 | opening


Blažej Bulla |main architect


Period of 19th century was a time of struggles over national identities and expansion of national awakening among smaller nations within Austro-Hungarian Empire fighting to gain more respected position. Slovaks were also going through these struggles concentrating patriotic activities mainly in smaller regional centres of Central Slovakia where Slovak ethnic group dominated. During the second half of 19th century Martin became such a dominant centre, partly thanks to a big building boom that started after a big fire in 1881. After closing down of Slovak cultural institution Matica Slovenská national activities were in a slight decline until the 1880´s. A significant signal of a change was Martin ethnographic exhibition in 1887 on the occasion of which a famous tower in style of Slovak popular houses was constructed by a Slovak constructor Blažej Bulla. Prior to this, approximately two years before the exhibition, Slovak cultural activists had an idea to build an adequate building for Slovak institutions to replace closed Matica Slovenská.

The building of the Národný dom/National House was initiated by a cultural society  Slovak choir, which except being a choir included also the most significant Slovak amateur theatre group. On 20th March 1887 a temporary board for administrating the construction of Národný dom/National House was founded. Finances were collected through an all national public fund-raising campaign. Draughtsman of the project was a Slovak Blažej Bulla living and working at the time in Martin. The building works started on 30th April 1888 and were suppose to terminate until the end of 1889 but they extended over another year. In spite of postponing the finalization a New Year’s theatre programme was held there in 1889.

Národný dom/National House was meant as a multi purpose building consisting of a hotel, stores, offices, several cultural and social premises (casino, tavern, library, museum). Large part of the ground floor represented the theatre auditorium with capacity of 1000 standing audience. The name Národný dom/National House was not approved by the authorities, so the building was referred to as Dom /The House.

In 1910 a new wing was added also according to a project of Blažej Bulla. In 1950´s building has undergone large adaptation and was transformed into a one purpose building – a theatre. From this moment on theatre was its permanent resident. When capacity of theatre auditorium showed not to be sufficient a new construction of a theatre studio was added during 1987-1993 according to a project of architects Vladimír Kordík and Mikuláš Rohrböck.




Giač, Ivan (editor): Načo je národu Dom..., Expert workshop at 110. anniversary of National House opening, issued by Divadlo SNP Martin, Martin, 2002, ISBN 80-968730-8-3, 128s.

Martin v slovenských dejinách, Zborník z vedeckej konferencie 13.-15. novembra 1984 v Martine, compile by Vojtech Šarluška, Matica slovenská, Martin  1986, 464s.

Hlavaj, Jozef: Martin. Stavebný obraz mesta (O výstavbe mesta Martina do roku 1960), Spolok architektov Slovenska, Bratislava 1994, ISBN 80-9000483 –9-0, 185s.

Moravčíková, Henrieta (editor) and collective: Architektúra na Slovensku. Stručné dejiny, Slovart, Bratislava, 2005, ISBN 80-8085-079-8, 184s.

Turzo, Ivan: Maják v tme. Slovenský spevokol v Martine, Osveta, Martin 1974, 392s.



Author: Viera Dlhánová

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