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The Bayreuth Opera House now on the UNESCO World Heritage List – A prestige entitlement for a unique baroque building

The Margraves' opera house in Bayreuth - view of the boxes
The Margraves' opera house in Bayreuth - view of the boxes - © bayreuth.de

The baroque Opera house of the Bayreuth Margraves, built between 1746 and 1750 – not to be mixed with the Festspielhaus, where the Richard-Wagner-Festival takes place annually in August – was taken on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in July 2012. In the application, the Bavarian Department of Castles underlined it as being “a unique and remarkable witness of a cultural tradition or lost culture.”

The Margraves couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine von Brandenburg-Kulmbach (Wilhelmine was Friedrich the Great’s sister) had the Opera house constructed by then Europe-wide acclaimed theater architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena and his son Carlo. The theater, built entirely in wood, is a flamboyant example of the so-called “Bayreuth rococo” style, which also marks several other buildings of this golden era in the city.

The Opera house doesn’t host any performances since 2009 – it remains a museum though. Starting in Fall 2012, it will be completely closed for extensive renovation efforts, probably until 2017 where it will be reopened to the public. In the meantime, the paintings, which had been covered up to 60% in the last restoration campaign in 1936, shall be re-discovered in order to bring the theater back to its original shine.

Source: sueddeutsche.de
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