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National Theatre of Pécs

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)5.10.1895 | Opening

(detail)1986 | Reconstruction



Architectural description

The theatre was built by the plan of Austrian-born Adolf Lang and his partner Antal Steinhardt, in Eclectic style. The theatre was designed for 800 seats which, taking into account the size of the auditorium, can be considered as a balanced and harmonious work.

The theatre is retracted from the line of the main Street of Pécs by means of a small square. The main facade is articulated with three open axles; it is a one storey building with middle projection. The middle projection is closed with a tympanum, based upon four Corinthian columns.  The octagon-shaped middle pavilion is covered with tin-casing dome in the middle top with finial. In the middle axle of the ground floor opens the arched ended   entrance gate.

The two corner projections are articulated with one open axle; on the ground floor with square ended gates; which roofed over with smaller tin-casing dome. On the main facade a decorated balcony railing runs along corners on the dividing edge. The theatre’s facade is plastered horizontally grouted surface.

The side facades are less decorated; the facade is articulated with arched ended windows. Its auditorium is horseshoe-shaped in two floors with balconies; and on the third with gallery. The stage is framed by a wide proscenium wall; with a proscenium box.



Pécs was one of the most significant provincial centres of Hungarian theatrical culture since 1786. City dwellers wanted a theatre with a repertory company, they dreamed of a place where they could regularly have artistic experiences and also meet friends.

The General Assembly of Pécs created a Theatrical Committee to indicate the building site of the theatre and they chose the actual 'Theatre Square' where a military hospital used to stand.

All the other important institutions, offices, public and private houses were built around this time, the present-day appearance of Pécs was created around 1840.

János Aidinger then mayor was elected to be the chairman of the Theatrical Committee, who submitted the county surtax to the vote to cover the expenses of the theatre.

In May 1890 the Committee announced a national design competition that was won by the world famous designers, Adolf Lang and Antal Steinhardt. They got down to building the theatre straight away together with the famous Felmer-Helmer partners and with 10,000 forints.

On the building you can find the statues of outstanding theatrical people of the time (Gergely Csiky, Ede Szigligeti, Károly Kisfaludy, Ferenc Erkel the composer) and there is a marvellous statue of the 'Genius' on the dome. The 'Genius' was designed by the sculptor György Kiss and created people from the Zsolnay Porcelain Factory.

The theatre was opened on 5th October 1895. The theatre had to be closed on 5th June 1986, because the building became life-threatening. The reconstruction finished in June 1991 and the building was totally renewed. There is a brand new revolving stage, a four-part sinking orchestra pit, new light, sound and video system and the theatre is air-conditioned.  



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