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Ivan Vazov National Theatre

Ferdinand Fellner, Hermann Helmer

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)16.1.1907 | opening
Opened with Dobri Christov's "Festive Ouverture", Ivan Vazov's scenic prologue "The Fame of Art" and Act V of Vasil Drumev's drama "Ivanko".
(detail)2.2.1923 | fire
The stage destroyed by fire (auditorium also damaged because the iron curtain did not work properly).
(detail)20. 's 20. century | alteration
1923-1928 building of a newly constructed stage and a slightly altered auditorium by Martin Dülfer.
(detail)70. 's 20. century | renovation
1972-1976 renovation of the stage house and exterior to the original plans by Ivan Tomov and Lilija Toteva (auditorium altered again, with only slight references to the 1906 original).


(detail)Hermann Helmer |main architect
The phenomenon of the architects Fellner and Helmer would be difficult to capture with only one building. Their work consisted of continual, although somewhat stereotypical, work in terms of style. They placed a great emphasis on achieving the technical-operational needs of theatre buildings. They created a large number of theatres (mainly national theatres) in Central Europe - Austria, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, etc.More theatres

(detail)Martin Dülfer |architect

German architect and professor, who designed initially in Baroque Revival style and around 1900 employed Art Nouveau and joined both the branches to original synthesis. He built especially for higher middle class.


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The Ivan Vazov National Theatre is the oldest and most authoritative theatre in Bulgaria and one of the important landmarks of Sofia. It was built in 1904 after the plans of the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer. Following a major fire in 1923, the building of the National Theatre underwent a five-year process of renovation, when it received its present look, designed by the architect Martin Dülfer.


In 1928 it was opened for shows with brand new technical stage equipment installed by the German companies Mann and Krupp. During World War II the southern facade was bombed and the 2nd balcony was half destroyed, but subsequently rebuilt. The interior was last renovated in the mid-70s. Both the exterior and the interior are preserved in their original form, including the silk wallpaper, the marble lobbies and the gilded elements around the stage and on the facade.


ul. Dyakon Ignatiy 5
1000, Sofia


Visits: on appointment


Tags: Fellner and Helmer


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