Impressive buildings for cultural and entertainment purposes are plenty in Vienna. One of them is the Burgtheater or the Austrian National Theater. Also known as Burg or Haus Am Ring and originally as the K.K. Theater an der Burg, the building is located in the first district just across the city hall at the famous Ring boulevard.
Since 1888, the building has been used as a theater house by Sellier, a theater company. The Sellier company earlier used a dance parlrour handed over by Empress Maria Theresia way back in 1741.
Designed and built by Gottfried Semper and C. von Hasenauer, the Burgtheater is a beauty to behold both inside and out. On its exterior alone, the marble facade is adorned with statues featuring famous writer Goethe and Schiller. Other figures displayed are those that depict love and hatred. Inside the building, a festive ambiance greets visitors attending various cultural events.
The Burgtheater is one of the first theaters in the German speaking countries in Europe and one of the world’s most important German language theaters. It is also the second oldest theater in Europe after Comedie Francaise with more than 80 actorsr and actresses making up the permanent ensemble.
With three affiliated venues such as the Kasino, Vestibul and Akademietheater, the Burgtheater accommodates some 400,000 people to 800 performances every season.
It has earned an international reputation for its excellent dramatic art. But while the theater’s repertoire has an international scope, it also showcases the works of Austrian playwrights. These include Arthur Schnitzler, Ferdinand Raimund or Johann Nestroy. Well known contemporary writers such as Elfriede Jelinek and Peter Handke also often hold their premiers on this stage.