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Lobe's Theatre

alias Lessing Theatre
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)2. 8. 1869 | opening of the theatre
programme of the evening: prologue of Paul Thiemich, ouverture of Dumont, Minna von Barnhelm G.E. Lessing
(detail)1901 | moderization, gas lighting was changed to electric light

(detail)1935 | theatre has been closed

(detail)1945 | during war acts theatre was destroyed and wasn't reconstructed



(detail)Adolf Dressler |painter
German painter, landscape painter. He debuted in 1855 at the Wroclaw Silesian Society of Art exhibition.

(detail)Franz Augustini |sculptor
Stuccos in the Lobe Theatre; sculptures on façade and in theatre (Wrocław Opera)More theatres


‘In 1868, Teodor Lobe [the actor in charge of the Miejski Theatre in Wrocław – editor’s reference] decided to apply for a licence to run a vaudeville theatre with a restaurant located in the theatre building. He was probably granted the licence in mid 1868.[1] The construction works started in October 1868 according to a design by Wrocław builder Friedrich Barchewitz, which had been approved in September. It is difficult nowadays to decide what motivated Lobe to commission Barchewitz to such a serious task. Carl Schmidt, the highest rated Wrocław architect, may not have accepted the offer as he was working on Liebich’s compound, and Lobe might have been intent on accomplishing the building quickly. Nevertheless, it is also fair to presume that the contemporaries rated Barchewitz’s abilities as highly as Schmidt’s qualifications, the latter being very appreciated today.[2]

As mentioned earlier, the work on laying the foundations started under the charge of carpentry master M. Rogge in October, and they were promised to be completed by St. John’s day [24 June – translator’s reference]. Four months later, in January 1869, the building was ready shell and core. On 9 January, on the occasion of placing the roof truss, there was a celebration of laying a bunch of flowers. Like in the old days, the Wrocław residents listened to funny songs performed to the glory of the new building and its creator.[3] However, it took several more months to finally complete the interiors. Symptomatically, Lobe generally commissioned local artists and craftsmen to do all the work. Stucco work and sculptural decorations designed by Bar­chewitz were made by F. Augustini, a sculptor working in Wrocław, and paintings on the ceiling were by Dressler. Barrot, a mechanic employed at the Miejski Theatre, was responsible for installing the stage machinery, whereas the seats were the work of a Wrocław company – Neumeister&Hoffman. Only the decorations were imported from “Lutkemeyer”, a company in Koburg. The theatre was handed over to managing director Lobe on 1 August 1869.[4] The next day (2 August 1869), a ceremonial inauguration was held. A prologue by Paul Thiemich, an overture by Dumont, and Minna von Barnhelm by G. E. Lessing made up the programme of the evening.[5] The ample building could hold 1298 people, including 380 standing places. Many auxiliary rooms were located next to the stage and the auditorium.

(…) Lobe did not run his enterprise for long. Two years after the theatre opened he was offered the position of managing director of a theatre in Vienna. He accepted it and rented out his theatre. Then, in 1874, he sold it to a theatre entrepreneur from Hamburg, L'Argon, who immediately decided to extend the building. In 1889, the board of Lobe’s Theatre took over management of the theatre in the Helmgarten compound. Ten years later, the building was largely modernised, with the gas lighting being replaced with electric illumination. Generally, private entrepreneurs ran the theatre until 1934, when Deutsche Bühne took over managing it. In 1935 the theatre was closed.[6] It was destroyed during the war in May 1945 and was never reconstructed.

Bożena Grzegorczyk, Architektura i budownictwo teatralne we Wrocławiu od około 1770 roku do schyłku XIX wieku, published by Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2000, pp. 113–117.

[1] It has not been completely explained whether Lobe was granted the license in 1868, or whether he decided to set about construction works in view of a new law coming into force in January.

[2] Compare: A. Zabłocka-Kos, Neorenesans w architekturze mieszczaństwa wrocławskiego, [in:] Architektura Wrocławia , vol. 1, Wrocław 1995, p. 207.

[3] Schlesische Provinzialblätter, Bd. 7, 1868.

[4] Schlesische Zeitung, 30 July 1869, No 349.

[5] Ibid.

[6]Compare: L. Biały, F. Biały, Z dziejów teatru niemieckiego w prowincjach śląskich w pierwszych latach rządów hitlerowskich, [in:] Z dziejów Wrocławia w XIX-XX w., AUWr No 725, Historia XLVI, Wrocław 1985, p. 54.



  1. Biały L., Biały F., 'Z dziejów teatru niemieckiego w prowincjach śląskich w pierwszych latach rządów hitlerowskich', [in:] Z dziejów Wrocławia w XIX-XX w., AUWr No 725, Historia XLVI, Wrocław 1985.
  2. Grzegorczyk B., 'Friedrich Barchewitz i jego teatry', [in:] Architektura Wrocławia, vol. 4, Gmach, Wrocław 1998.
  3. 'Schlesische Provinzialblätter', Bd. 7, 1868.
  4. 'Schlesische Provinzialblatter', 1869, Jg. 73.
  5. 'Schlesische Zeitung', 30 July 1869, No. 349.
  6. 'Schlesische Zeitung', 1 September 1899, No. 612.



Author: Bożena Grzegorczyk

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