Divadlo na Vinohradech to be renovated

The theater at náměstí Míru will be closed for a complete overhaul

Prague theaters are continuing to be spruced up. Divadlo na Vinohradech (Vinohrady Theater) at náměstí Míru is looking at a renovation that could cost up to Kč 1 billion, and another project to fix the stage costing Kč 300 million. The reason is that the Art Nouveau building from 1907 has fallen into disrepair. The renovations will be paid for by they city. A time line has not been announced.

Due to the repair of the stage the theater will not be able to perform plays. This is the reason that the building will be renovated at the same time, according to City Councilor Jan Wolf (KDU-ČSL / Trojkoalice). Project documentation for the stage repairs are currently being prepared.

Everything needs to be renovated, from the sanitation facilities up through the frescoes and the facade, Wolf told the media.

The theater has not been fully renovated since it opened Nov. 24, 1907. The main architect was Alois Čenský, and it is his best-known building. He also designed the municipal theater in Náchod and other civic buildings across Bohemia. The allegorical figures on the theater roof are by Milan Havlíček and represent Bravery and Truth. The first play performed at divadlo na Vinohradech was Godiva by Jaroslav Vrchlický, directed by F. A. Šubert.

The stage, which was designed by inventor František Křižík, also has not been repaired since it was built. Much of it is not operational due to broken mechanical parts. In its current state it is not safe, Wolf said. The Křižík stage will be taken apart and replaced with a new one. The original may go to a museum, as it fits the definition of a technical monument, however it is not specifically a protected as national heritage.

Divadlo na Vinohradech joins several other landmark buildings that have recently been renovated or are in the process. The facade of the Národní divadlo (National Theater) was cleaned from 2012 to '15. The facade of the Estates Theater is also currently being cleaned. The State Opera is now undergoing a large interior renovation and will be closed this season. Národní muzeum (National Museum) has been closed since 2011 for renovations and should partly reopen in 2018.

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