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Municipal Theatre

alias Andreas Gryphius Miejski Theatre, The Miejski Theatre
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1799 | start of construction of the theater

(detail)1926 | reconstruction

architect: Hasait; modernization of the stage, installation of a rotary stage, installation of the horizon for the projection of light, the walls of the auditorium were covered with blue velvet

(detail)2017 | Start of total reconstruction
architect: Gross
(detail)22.11.2019 | Reopening


(detail)? Hasait |architect
rebuilding of the theatre in Głogów in1926


The Miejski Theatre [the Municipal Theatre] in Głogów deserves attention, mainly due to the architectural form. Erected between 1798 and 1799, it has been preserved until nowadays, though unfortunately in ruins. The idea of establishing a permanent theatre in Głogów came from theatre entrepreneur Anton Faller. The intention was backed not only by the inhabitants of the city, but also by the army quartered in the city. Within its ranks there were many lovers of theatre who set up the ‘Theatre Friends Association’. The members would meet in order to prepare theatre performances together. Initially the performances were staged in the new building of the ‘Schmetterhaus’, [1] erected according to the design of Carl von Machui in the eastern part of Rynek, next to the town hall in 1775. This two-storey edifice was built on the site of the former butcher’s stalls, which had burnt down in 1758. [2]

According to von Machui’s design, the two-storey building was to be constructed on the plan of a rectangle (12.75 by 45.40 metres). The whole ground floor was designed to house butcher’s shops, while the first floor was divided into two rooms, a bigger one and a smaller one, designed for celebrations of the bourgeoisie. The person in charge of the construction works was not the author of the project, but builder Paul Ertel. The only decoration of this modest building was a stucco emblem of Głogów by painter Löffler and sculptor Jesgersky.

However, before twenty years elapsed it turned out that the building desperately needed repairs since, due to the excessively elongated plan of the whole building, the roof truss was at risk of collapse.

The project to reconstruct the edifice was proposed by Valentin Christian Schultze, performing the function of Landbaumeister, later the lecturer of the Royal School of Arts, Building and Craft, acting in Wrocław from 1804. [3]

It is worth pointing out that the design of the modernisation proposed by Schultze involved not only repairs, but also the extension of the building with one storey. Low though it was (mezzanino), it enabled a quite large room to be separated where the architect designed a distinct stage and auditorium.

As soon as the project was approved by the local and, more importantly, the state authorities (11 January 1799), Schultze set about the work.

The basic plan of the building did not change, but as a result of superimposing another storey the proportions of the block changed, giving the building a more monumental appearance. However, erecting the additional floor required that the construction of the building be strengthened. Schultze solved this problem masterfully. Circumferential walls in the central part of the building (from the east and from the west) were strengthened by four massive piers. This solution secured the whole building and certainly played a decisive role in the conception of the façade. According to Schultze’s assumptions, the facade was a thirteen axis elevation with a centrally placed three axis portal and pseudo projections placed symmetrically on both sides.

The portal is marked by two huge piers supporting the entablature dominating the roof line. Between the piers an enormous recess was designed, closed with a large concha embellished with rosettes. Inside the recess there were two plain Tuscan columns, without bases, supporting a horizontal beam on which the bust of the Głogów poet and playwright Andrea Gryphius by sculptor Michaelis was placed. A frieze depicting figure scenes spread deeply inside the recess, over the entrance of the building. The theme of the frieze referred, like the bust, to the theatrical function of the building. The frieze depicts thirty-seven figures, gathered in groups, surrounding on both sides the centrally located enthroned Athena. Some of the figures are holding musical instruments (trumpets, tambourines, flutes), others are making dance movements and still others are conducting a sacrifice on the altar. As to the pseudo projections, they were embellished with a blind arcade, drawn in plaster and a bas-relief inside, over the window, depicting sphinxes placed antithetically.

            The building, founded on the plan of a rectangle, located in the eastern part of the Głogów market, facing it with the longer side constituted a sort of closure. The strictly cubic shape of the building, with mathematically balanced proportions and a huge four-sided roof, also treated as a pure, almost stereometric figure, generally did not reveal the interior.

The building was vertically divided into three parts: the socle (decorated with sgraffito plasters) corresponding to the ground floor, housing butchers’ stalls; piano nobile markedby rectangular windows, with a pediment enriched with festoons, housing a masked ball room and a theatrical mezzanino. However, it received a programme characteristic of theatre buildings.

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that although the massive structure, covering the interior was similar in character to the works of French architects from the circle of Boullé-Ledoux and, in addition, it resembled the edifice of the Poznań theatre, erected a few years later (1802–1804) according to the design of Friedrich Gilly, the interior of the Głogów theatre did not have a properly modern equipped interior.

The architect divided the relatively low space of the third storey, designed for theatre purposes, into three parts. The most spacious part, in the shape of an elongated letter ‘U’ constituted the auditorium. On the ground floor there were six boxes on each side and a much wider amphitheatrical balcony with rows of seats opposite the stage. The stage (joint with the audience with a portal) and the small backstage occupied one third of the total surface, whereas stairs and shops occupied the rest of the storey. There was no cloakroom or foyer.

The building preserved in this form until 1839 when the ceiling between the first floor and the mezzanino was removed. In addition, in connection with the change of building rules it was necessary to provide additional stairs, which were located in front of the main portal, thus depriving it of its original monumentality. 

However, the building underwent much more significant transformations during subsequent renovations in 1928. The modernisation carried out at that time was precisely described (including drawings) in the Deutsche Bauzeitung by the author of the projects, the building councillor Griesinger. [4]

Admittedly, the auditorium remained in the same shape of letter ‘U’, but wooden boxes were replaced with a reinforced concrete balcony. Moreover, the building was also extended from the western side. Moreover, the butchers’ stalls, still in use at that time, were finally closed down.

Not only did this thorough modernisation enable a relatively modern auditorium to be installed in the building and the stage to be upgraded: due to the renovation a complex of rooms required for spectators was introduced, including a vestibule, a foyer, cloakrooms etc. Moreover, the original monumental character of the building was restored, as a result of removing the front stairs. Consequently, the building of the former Miejski Theatre in Głogów, today in ruins, is in fact the only building from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, whose appearance has not been substantially modified.

[1] ‘Schmetterhaus’ is the name of a building, often to be found in Silesia, used for bourgeoisie celebrations. It owes its name to its original function as the place of fencing exercises for bourgeoisie. Compare: Bożena Grzegorczyk, Architektura i budownictwo teatralne we Wrocławiu…, op. cit.,p. 46.

[2] Ludwig Burgemester, Der Umbau Stadtheater in Glogau. Bericht des Provinzial-Konserwator der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Niederschlesien über Tätigekeit von 1 Januar 1927 bis 31. December 1929, Breslau 1930; Günther Grundmann, ‘Schlesische Architekten im Dienste der Herschafgotsch und der Propstei Wambrunn‘, [in:] Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, Strassburg 1930, H. 274, p. 172; Ernst Jahn, ‘Das Stadttheater zu Glogau‘, [in:] Die Stadt Glogau, Berlin-Friedenau 1926, p. 126 et seq.

[3] Kurt Bimler, Baudirektor Valentin Christian Schultze, [in:] Die neuklassische Bauschule in Schlesien, Breslau 1928, H. 1; Kurt Bimler, Baudirektor Valentin Christian Schultze, [in:] ‘Zeitschrift des Vereins für Geschichte Schlesien‘ Jg. 64, pp. 155–175.

[4] Deutsche Bauzeitung 1929, Jg. 63, pp. 745–750.




  1. Bimler K., Baudirektor Valentin Christian Schultze, Die neuklassische Bauschule in Schlesien, T. I, Zeitschrift des Vereins fur Geschichte (und Alterthum) Schlesiens, Breslau 1930.
  2. Biały L., Biały F., Z dziejów teatru niemieckiego w prowincjach śląskich w pierwszych latach rządów hitlerowskich, (w:) Z dziejów Wrocławia w XIX - XX wieku, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 1985.
  3. Burgemeister L., Der Umbau des Stadttheaters in Glogau. Bericht des Provinzal-Konservators der Kunstdenkmaler der Provinz Niederschlesien über die Tätigkeit vom 1. Januar 1927 bis 31. Dezember 1929, Breslau 1930.
  4. Chutkowski J., Dzieje Głogowa - od czasów najdawniejszyc do roku 1950, Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk w Legnicy, Legnica 1989.
  5. Eichhorn H., Ackermann K.E., Ein deutscher Theaterprinzipal, (w:) "Die Schaubühne", T. 64. Emsdetten 1965.
  6. Gryphius A. , Festrede bei der Enthüllung seines Denkmals in Groß-Glogau am 6. Juli 1864 gehalten von Dr. G. A. Klix, Glogau 1864.
  7. Jahn E., Das Stadtheater in Glogau, (w:) Die Stadt Glogau. Monographien deutscher Stadte. Band 17. Berlin-Friedenau 1926.
  8. R. J A.., Zum Jesuitentheater in Schlesien. Eine Übersicht, Fundę und Befunde zur schlesischen Theatergeschichte, T.1, Dortmund 1983.
  9. Rybka Z., Bok A., 200 lat Teatru Miejskiego w Głogowie, Towarzystwo Ziemi Głogowskiej Fundacja Odbudowy Teatru im. Andreasa Gryphiusa, Głogów 1999.



Author: Bożena Grzegorczyk

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