HVAR, 3 May 2019 – Hvar Theatre, the oldest public theatre in Europe, reopened again on Thursday night.
Located on the second floor of the Arsenal on St. Stephen’s Square, the Hvar Public Theatre first opened in 1612 and was open for all citizens, regardless of social status. This was unheard of in that period.
“It enjoyed a ‘golden era’ and operated continuously for over 400 years. From 1796 it was used by the military which left it in very bad condition. In 1803 it had its renaissance when it was lovingly restored. Various musical events were held, comedies, dramas were played, King’s birthdays were celebrated, “kavalkinas” took place, quadrille and “kontradansas” were performed. In 1838, the full opera Norma was played in the theatre,” Hvar Tourist Board writes.
After more being close for the last two decades, the theatre was officially opened by the Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, last night.
“According to many, the first communal theatre in renaissance Europe, the Hvar Theatre opened its doors to various social events in 1612, making the town of Hvar a place of cultural and social encounters for all its citizens in an incredibly democratic atmosphere. Although in the chronology of the oldest theatres of Europe, Hvar Theatre is the third renaissance theatre, its public role makes it unique in the history of theatres in general,” the minister said at the opening, Jutarnji list writes.
The Hvar Theatre and the Arsenal, in which it is located, are monuments of national importance for Croatia.
You can see the restored theatre in the video posted by the Hvar Tourist Board below.