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Miskolc National Theatre

alias State Theatre Miskolc, Déryné Theatre
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)24.8.1823 | opening
Opened with the play The Tartars in Hungary written by Károly Kisfaludy.
(detail)19.7.1843 | fire

(detail)3.9.1857 | opening


(detail)Cassano József |architect



In Miskolc a theatre was built already in 1700. This, however, was consumed by fire in 1797. Later a summer theatre was established. From 1802 onwards the Transylvanian company lead by Mihály Kótsi was regularly performing in the city.

The Hungarian Players Company (Magyar Játszó Társaság) was performing in the Rondella in Budapest between 1812-1815. After the building had been demolished the company was welcomed by the city of Miskolc. Playing first in the coach-house of the Korona inn and later on the temporary stage in the boot maker shed, actress Déryné and her company conquered the hearts of the theatre lovers in the city, which gave the final impulse for the officials to start building a permanent theatre venue. Three directors were appointed for the leadership of the constructions and the foundation of the new company: György Miskolczy (main tax-collector), Sámuel Szrogh (lawyer) and József Erős (judiciary). The county of Borsod brought the decision to build the theatre on the assembly of 24th February 1816. The designs were made by József Losonczy. The foundation stone was laid on 17th May 1819. The first director of the theatre was György Éder.

The theatre was opened on 24th August 1823 with the play The Tartars in Hungary written by Károly Kisfaludy. The building, however, perished in the great fire of 19th June 1843. Its plans have not survived.

Between 1843-1844 the venue was rebuilt by Ferenc Miks as the officers’ residence of the Miskolc Military Garrison. The building was later incorporated in the ensemble of the Miskolc National Theatre, hosting the museum of theatre history.

In December 1846 Bertalan Szemere, Member of Parliament, the president of the Miskolc Casino proposed the foundation of a new joint stock company for the purpose of building a new theatre venue. The city exchanged the burnt down plot to a larger corner plot on the main street. Two architects were commissioned independently for the design of the new building: József Hild and József Cassano. The officials accepted the plans of Cassano, of a building in classicist style, which was erected between 1847-1857. The laying of the foundation-stone was on 3rd September 1847.

The expenses of the construction were covered by the company. The building was officially opened on 3rd September 1857. The first director of the new theatre was Endre Latabár, whose company played the tragedy of Marót bán, by Mihály Vörösmarty. This is when the theatre took up the name of Miskolc National Theatre.

In 1849-50 first the shops on the ground floor were built. Since then the theatre has always preserved its classicist and neo-baroque character (in the interior), despite the numerous renovations.

An important modernization was carried out in the 1880ies, when central heating and gas lighting was introduced. The tower was built in 1883-84, which in those times served fire guard purposes, while today it shows the exact time (built in eclectic style).

In 1925 the auditorium was rebuilt based on the plans of László Vágó in a quasi baroque style, covered with ferroconcrete dome and the foyer was transformed, yet the façade has preserved its classicist style.

Another significant refurbishment was carried out between 1967-59 using the plans of László Bene and Béla Horváth. This is when the shops within the theatre building were closed, the public service areas were enlarged (foyers, cloakrooms). An inner court was shaped on the neighbouring plot after the old buildings had been demolished (the Déryné court today). The initial theatre building was enlarged with a dressing room and office wing, on the northern wing with a rear stage, service areas and a scene dock.

The latest reconstruction was carried out between 1991-1994, lead by Csaba Bodonyi, architect holder of the Ybl-prize, with the designs of the Interplan Kft.

The aim was to effectuate a building which can incorporate four theatrical functions. The area of the building has grown to more than 16 thousand square metres with five theatre halls.


Architectural description


At the renovation of the historic building a complex establishment was implemented serving four theatre functions with the preservation of local values. Three different types of theatre found  place here: drama, music and ballet with separate rooms with appropriate sizes. In the building of the theatre got place the so called Grand Theatre, the Chamber Theatre, the Theatre Workshop, the summer outdoor theatre, raw material warehouses, workshops, furniture, costumes and accessories store, stage assembly hall, office building. A Theatre Museum and 50 actors’ apartments are located in two adjacent buildings.

The buildings are organized around two interior squares, from the direction of Széchenyi utca, in the so called Déryné courtyard, the Grande Theatre is located, a national monument, the new office wing, in which on the ground floor opens the artist entrance and the associated lobby. This is closed off by an actors’ residence with 24 flats.  

The other the back yard from Déryné Street originated from the demolition of the building in Déryné Street no. 3 and opening of courtyard at Déryné Street no. 5. In this increased space the open-air Summer Theatre with 500 seats was formed. Buildings bordering the courtyard are  the scenery hall, the Actors and Theatre History Museum, the Chamber Theatre, Theatre Workshop and the warehouse.

The original historical theatre building is a single storey building with middle projection which in the middle three opening axes formulated by arched windows. The main façade is closed in gables with tympanum. A dividing edge runs around the building.  The openings of the building have arched enclosures with line brow-edge and framing.

The auditorium of the Grand Theatre is horse-shoe shaped; the auditorium of the Chamber Theatre is linear type.



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