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Gödöllő Palace Theatre

András Mayerhoffer

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Important events

(detail)1785 | opening


András Mayerhoffer |main architect


In 1735, Antal I. Grassalkovich gave a mandate to the architect András Mayerhoffer to plan a castle in Gödöllő. The construction took three stages and finished in 1759. The scheme of the castle became the icon of the Hungarian castle architecture.

Antal Grassalkovich II. got the title of imperial prince in 1771 and between 1782 and 1785 he reconstructed the castle worth for his degree. The most important interior conversion was the establishment of baroque theatre for 120 people which was realized with opening of three storeys joined.  Opposite the theatre at the storey of the south wing a so called musician corridor took place for the court musicians.

After the Accord in 1867, several modifications were taken for increasing the comfort of Franz Josef I. and his wife Elisabeth. 15 rooms were formed for servants and the warehouse placing two new ceilings into the theatre room. The reconstruction was managed by the architect Ferdinand Kirchner.

The theatre is 24. 5 metre long;  8 metre wide and 9.5 metre high room. The  space is divided into two parts:  a 13-metre-long auditorium and an 11-metre -long stage. The form of the theatre is axial-linear confronted type. The stage is elevated compared to the auditorium and the proscenium opening is somewhat narrower.

There is a two-storey-high balcony at the end of the auditorium. The placement of the audience suggests the segregation of the society. The theatre was reconstructed on the basis of period analogies, for example: Český Krumlov Baroque Castle Theatre and the significant, Italian stage and set designer Andrea Pozzo. The stage has an understage and the system of coulisses which enables to change the chariots of the coulisses. The orchestra was seated in front of the stage, since at that time an orchestra pit was not everywhere formed. The theatre can be entered from the garden or also from the balcony.

In the French renaissance numerous palace theatres were built. In this period social segregation was prevailing. The performances commissioned by the aristocratic circles shaped the Baroque era’s theatre. The citizens got more and more rich and took over the palace for theatre forms. Till the end of the 17th century courtyard performances and folk performances were played. In the Baroque era numerous castle theatres were built, however today from these only few exists. The well known ones are Český Krumlov Baroque Castle Theatre and Drottningholm Baroque Castle Theatre, Fertőd Castle theatre, and the Castle Theatre in Gödöllő.



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