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Konzerthaus Berlin

Karl Friedrich Schinkel

alias Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt (1984 - 1994), Königliches Schauspielhaus, Staatstheater (1919 - 1935), Staatstheater - Großes Haus (1935 -1984)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1821 | Opening
Opened 26 May 1821 with Gluck's ouverture and Goethe's drama "Iphigenie auf Tauris", and Karl von Mecklenburg's ballet "Rosenfee". The complex included a theatre with 1600 seats and a smaller concert hall. (Carthalia)
(detail)50. 's 19. century | reconstruction 1852: A.Stüler & H. Bürde

(detail)80. 's 19. century | 1883-1884
façade decoration with natural stone.
(detail)1888 | reconstruction
modernization of stage technology
(detail)1905 | reconstruction
major reconstruction by F. Genzmer, destroying Schinkel's original theatre auditorium design
(detail)1935 | reconstruction
reconstruction of the original concert hall and reconstruction of Schinkel's original theatre auditorium by Hans Grube. 1935 renamed "Staatstheater - Großes Haus"
(detail)23.4.1949 | conflagration
Damaged by bombs in 1943, subsequently restored. Nearly completely destroyed by bombs on 23 Apr 1945.
(detail)1957 | reconstruction
Safety measures
(detail)80. 's 20. century | reconstruction
1979-1984 -interior rebuilding by K. Just, Manfred Prasser, and Peter Weiss as a concert hall with three venues: a great hall (1850 seats), a chamber music hall (ca. 450 seats), and the "Musikclub". Re-opened 1 Oct 1984 as "Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt" with a symphonic concert.


(detail)Carl Ferdinand Langhans |architect
German architect, designer, the builder of many theatre and opera buildings in Silesia and Germany. More theatres


Classicism reaches its climax in the work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, friend and associate of Friedrich Gilly. Schinkel came to architecture from the theatre, having begun his career as a scene designer and romantic painter. In 1818 he was commissioned to build the new Schauspielhaus in Berlin as the centre of a grandiose new scheme of town planning. The facade is self-consciously monumental—an Ionic portico standing at the top of a steep flight of steps, flanked by wings on a rusticated basement with, rising behind it, another higher portico supporting a bronze quadriga. But the interior is more restrained; in the semi-circular auditorium the orders are conspicuously absent, decoration being pared down to flat panels, medallion heads and similar motifs. The left-hand wing of the building formed a smaller concert-room so cool and chaste that it could easily be a sculpture hall in his own nearby museum. Schinkel built no more theatres, but his thoughts on the subject continued to develop and to influence later architects. He came to believe in a much plainer setting, with the stage projecting into the auditorium.

In: Tidworth, Simon : Theatres: An Illustrated History. London 1973 p. 154


The building was destroyed in the year 1945 and reopened in the year 1984. It is particularly renowned for its sensitive placement in terms of urban planning into the surroundings as well as for its unprecedented integrity. A monumental staircase crowned with Ionic columns is the most prominent feature. Apart from the theatre hall, the building also contains a concert hall.



Author: Simon Tidworth

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