In the 18th century an opera house as large and magnificent as the most famous houses of its day was built in the small residential town of Bayreuth. Primarily initiated by Margravine Wilhelmine, this new construction was begun in 1744 from plans by Joseph St Pierre and completed in only four years. The façade is modelled on the architectural style of upper Italy and sets the opera house apart from the adjacent houses.
The interior was designed by Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, probably the most famous theatre architect of the time. Inside, the theatre is dominated by the court loge, which indicates through its design that the presence of the margravial couple was as important as the theatre performance itself. Glorification of the ruler was however also the function of the other features of the interior decoration, such as the Fama figures hovering above the proscenium arch with the margravial coat of arms. Preserved in its entirety, this interior is full of vitality. In the absolutist society of the 18th century, the court opera house and festival hall was the most important representative platform next to the palace and the church, and here it has been developed as such to a unusually high degree of perfection.
The Margravial Opera House was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2012.
»The world of Wilhelmine«
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To ensure the preservation of the Margravial Opera House, the Bavarian Palace Department is currently comprehensively restoring this Bayreuth World Heritage site. However, there is still an opportunity for visitors to see the opera house while the work is in progress. An information centre that has been set up in the foyer building illustrates the various features of the interior and shows how it is being preserved for future generations. The auditorium itself will however remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future.
April-September: 9 m-6 pm
October-March: 10 am-4 pm
Closed on: January 1, Shrove Tuesday, December 24/25/31
2.50 euros regular
2 euros reduced
Accessible for wheelchair users; parking spaces available for the disabled
Café an der Oper
Bus to "Luitpoldplatz"
Underground car park with costs (P7 or P 13 – behind the Opera House)
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