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Juliusz Slowacki Theatre, Krakow, Poland

While taking a walk in the historic center of Krakow you will reach the Holy Ghost square, where you will find a big and beautiful building, surrounded by green lawn. This is the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (Teatr im. Juliusza Słowackiego).

The building stands on the site of demolished monastery, after which the square was named Holy Ghost. In the mid of 1870s the decision of Krakow’s municipality to demolish the monastery and build a theater on its place, caused sharp criticism. However, this story has not harmed the popularity of the theater after its opening. The theater opened in 1893. Originally, it was called the Municipal Theater, but in 1909 was renamed after the famous Polish poet Juliusz Słowacki.

The building is a vivid example of the Polish eclectic architecture. Its exterior is white with round green domes and numerous vaulted windows. The building's architect - Jan Zawiejski, while creating the theater, got inspired by the best Baroque style theaters of Europe, such as Opera Garnier in Paris.

The main facade of the building has three symmetrical doors on the first floor and three accordingly symmetrical big windows on the second floor. It is richly decorated with columns and statues. Above the round shaped ledge of the façade walls on both sides are crowned with two symmetrical round domes. On both sides of the main entrance there are tracks for broughams. There is an inscription made on the facade "Krakow for the National Arts."

The main stage’s curtain was created by renowned artist Henryk Siemiradzki. The building's interior is decorated with frescoes made by Viennese artist Anton Tuch. Juliusz Słowacki Theatre was the first building in the Krakow with electricity supply. Since 1979, in the courtyard of the building, on the site of the former electric plant, operates the Small Stage of the theater.

During the whole period of its existence, the theater never stopped functioning. Even during the Nazi occupation, the theater was not closed: there were played German performances.

By Anna Pambukhchyan, www.building.am



 


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