The Estates Theatre is situated in Prague’s Old Town in the Fruit Market (Ovocný trh) between Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square. It is one of the oldest European theatres and was opened in 1783. Originally, it was named after František Antonín Nostic-Rieneck, an enlightened aristocrat who had the theatre built in Classicist style. For the construction, a place traditionally connected with theatrical production was chosen – next to the Kotzen Theatre and Charles University. The actual construction took less than two years. Along with the theatre in Leoben, Styria, the Estates Theatre is the only European theatre of its kind that has been preserved almost in its original form. In 1798, the theatre was purchased by the Bohemian Estates, thus acquiring the name the Royal Theatre of the Estates. During the socialist era, it was called the Tyl Theatre for a short period of time. At present, the theatre offers opera, drama and ballet performances. Since 1920, the Estates Theatre has been part of the nearby National Theatre and is its second stage today.
USEFUL INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Address: Železná 540/11, Praha 1
GPS coordinates: 50.0857825N, 14.4232967E
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
The closest public transport stops near the Estates Theatre:
- Můstek metro station (Line A – green line)
- Náměstí Republiky tram stop
- Jindřišská tram stop
OPENING HOURS AND ADMISSION
The building of the Estates Theatre is open to the public during theatre performances. For current programme, information on seating and tickets, visit official website. In addition, visitors can individually arrange a guided tour of the theatre. For more information, click here.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ESTATES THEATRE
There is a statue of a ghost in front of the Estates Theatre that represents the ghost from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. In 1787, Mozart conducted the premiere of this opera there. Right next to the theatre stands the Kolowrat Palace, which is connected to the theatre via an underground corridor. The theatre interior is dominated by marble – there are marble columns and pilasters as well as marble floors in the hall and the foyer, which is decorated with painted portraits and busts of the theatre representatives. In the Estates Theatre, there are two important loges – the imperial loge and the presidential loge, the latter being reserved for the President and his guests throughout the year. In the Czech Republic, a visit to a theatre is perceived as a social event that requires visitors to follow a certain dress code. The ideal choice is a cocktail dress for ladies and a dark suit for gentlemen.
ESTATES THEATRE AND NEARBY HISTORICAL SIGHTS
When visiting the Estates Theatre, there are plenty of other interesting sights nearby to explore, including the Karolinum, the Kolowrat Palace, the Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Jan Hus Memorial, Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, the Municipal House, the Powder Tower, the Church of Mother of God before Týn and many others.