The New Stage of the National Theatre
After the end of WWII Europe went through a long process of restoration of damaged sights and theatres tended to be one of the first buildings that European governments tried to restore and modernize. Even though Prague’s city centre wasn’t badly damaged, the Czechoslovak government started thinking about modernization of our National theatre. Things really started moving and shaking (literally,) when nearby buildings were demolished (in the 1950s). The city council ran several contests to find the best architect – between 1958-59, in 1962 and 1964. The winner of the latter two contests, Bohuslav Fuchs, was supposed to start the construction in the 1970s, but he died in 1973 . The plans were finally approved in 1976 and the construction of the new stage of the National Theatre, started according to the original plans.
During the construction in 1980s plans were changed at the request of stage designer Josef Svoboda, who wanted the New Stage to be a multifunctional space, which could be used by his Laterna Magika – a theatre performance combining classic theatre with modern technology.
The biggest problem during construction was that the building faced onto noisy Národní street. This situation was finally solved by surrounding the building with glass tiles (btw, – there are 4306 of them and each one weighs around 40 kilos).
The New Stage opened in 1983 and during that year dealt with still more obstacles, especially in the interior and backstage. More or less everything was solved by 1984. Nowadays the building works as an artistic space open to all, and is used by Czech National Theatre for modern style performances. Take in this alternative venue on one of our bike or Segway tours.
National Theatre info:
Address: Národní 4, Prague 1
Map. Ref.: 50.0812067, 14.4145450
Official website: http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/new-stage