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„…Theatre is an art which is being fulfilled in space and time...”

Václav Havel    



The publication Beyond Everydayness – Theatre Architecture in Central Europe is a collective volume of more than 35 theatre historians, architects, curators and art theorists, who uncover historical, political and cultural relations in the development of theatre architecture of the Central European region from the XVI. century till present days.

The book presents detailed information about the history of 73 of the most important theatre buildings in six countries of the Central Europe: Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. Each text is accompanied by rich photographic documentation and building ground plans and sections having an unified pattern that facilitates their mutual comparison.

Theatre architecture is recorded in the book as a characteristic component of human culture and as a specific building type which, apart from often being itself a unique and artistically valuable structure, also creates space for another kind of art – theatre art.

The appearance of the theatres was shaped, apart from the aesthetic standards of the day, also by social, political, artistic and technical influences. Some of these were a manifestation of world-wide development; others represent a specific phenomena in the Central European region – in a specific country or town.

The selection of buildings follows the features specific for diverse historical periods. These features are outlined in nine more closely or more freely defined themes, which are anchored in time and in a certain way characterize the given periods.

The nine basic themes are supplemented by four extensive appendices focusing on phenomena that accompanied the theatre architecture or represent specific phenomena outside of the ‘main current’ of the development of official theatre buildings. The stories of the individual theatres are set into a broader context in six historical introductions.

One expert architecture photographer (selected in a competition) to take contemporary pictures of all 73 theatres in the book. The aim was to present the contemporary state of each building on one hand and to give the publication unique and unified visual appearance.

The whole book was written by more than 30 authors from all participating countries (plus Austria).



Basic facts:

Pages: 608

Pictorial material: 970

Dimensions: 348mm x 236mm (H x W)


Number of copies: 1500


“ ...it is an attractive informative publication which reaches for deeper understanding of development and typological variety of theatre buildings and theatre space in multicultural region of Central Europe.

This book helps us to understand not only the development and present state of theatre architecture, but delivers new inputs to visual perception and reflection of cultural happening, which took place throughout particular national societies in mutual cultural dialogue, which should not (and will not) be obstructed by any borders, barriers and restrictions...”

Václav Havel

(quotation from preface of the book)



Main credits:

Chief editor: Igor Kovačević(CZ)

Editorial team: Kateřina Lopatová(CZ), Jan K. Rolník(CZ), Dana Schlaichertová(CZ), Ondřej Svoboda(CZ)

Authors: Piroska Ács(HU), Marek Adamov(SK), Jiří Bláha(CZ), Lukáš Beran(CZ), Dorota Buchwald(PL), Viera Dlháňová(SK), Zofia Dworakowska(PL), Bożena Grzegorczyk(PL), Antoni Grzyb(PL), Vendula Hnídková(CZ), Ludmila Hůrková(CZ), Primož Jesenko(SI), Jiří Kaše(CZ), Kateřina Kohoutková(CZ), Jarosław Komorowski(PL), Peter Krečič(SI), Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska(PL), Igor Kovačević(CZ), Lechosław Lameński(PL), Marta Leśniakowska (PL), Kateřina Lopatová(CZ), Brigitte Marschall(A), Henrieta Moravčíková(SK), Piotr Morawski(PL), Pavel Panoch(CZ), Jan Purkert(CZ), Warren Rosenzweig(A), Igor Sapač(SI), Martin Strakoš(CZ), Ivo Svetina(SI), Ondřej Svoboda(CZ), Markéta Svobodová(CZ), Attila Szabó(HU), Fritz Trümpi(A), Mihály Vargha(HU), Bogo Zupančič(SI)

Photos: Martina Novozámská(CZ)





Institut umění - Divadelní ústav (Arts and Theatre Institute Prague), Centrum pro středoevropskou architekturu – CCEA (Centre for Central European Architecture), Arhitekturni muzej Ljubljana (Architecture Museum Ljubljana), Slovenske národne múzeum (Slovak National Museum), Slovenská akadémia vied (Slovak Academy of Sciences)


The aim of the project is to promote the still existing historic theatres in Europe by way of a new cultural tourism route, a free online database, and a travelling exhibition, also fostering cross-border cooperation among these theatres.

Historic theatres in 5 minutes

Litomyšl - Castle Theatre

Český Krumlov - Castle Theatre

Graz - Opera

Vienna - Theater an der Vien

Weitra - Castle Theatre

Grein - Municipal Theatre

Kačina - Castle Theatre

Mnichovo Hradiště - Castle Theatre

Graz - Drama Thatre