The castle baroque theater was finished in 1766 in time of great popularity of Italian operas and used for almost 150 years. In the time of its creation, it was nothing special. In Europe, there were several hundreds of those theaters but because of the use of candles, oil lamps and sometimes even pyrotechnics during performances, the vast majority of them burned down.
Only four of those original baroque theaters survived until today. Two of them are in Sweden and two are in the Czech Republic. If you are interested in the second theater in this country, you have to go to UNESCO town Litomyšl. But Český Krumlov baroque theater is the oldest and the best-preserved one.
Everything inside is original – stage, auditorium, costumes, sheets of musical notes…
The most interesting thing is hidden underneath the stage. Over there, there is a really clever system of rope machinery, with three kilometers of ropes to operate the sceneries on the stage. So imagine – there was a scene of a forest – painted panels, and it was possible to push them to the side and put there a new scene of a house in about 12 seconds. It was possible only thanks to 15 men hidden underneath the stage, pulling all those ropes, sweating, and changing everything above. And they were only listening to the sound of music and singing of the actors.
It´s still there, it still works and it´s open for the public. It´s a must. But it´s not easy to get there.
I give you 5 tips on how to get there:
- Plan your visit of in advance – There is usually only one English tour a day in the castle baroque theater! At 10 am and only from May to October.
- Be fast – Size of groups allowed to join the castle baroque theater tour is limited. Only 20 people can attend it. But there are only 10 tickets sold online. Buy your ticket in advance and online!
- Buy the ticket online – This is the tricky part. It´s possible to buy the ticket through the castle Český Krumlov website. But there is a problem – it´s almost impossible to get to the right page. You have to go to the page of the castle tour and then choose the castle baroque theater tour. To make it easy for you, we found the page for you. Click on this link to make a reservation. For English click the flag in the top right corner of the page. Then click on „Tours” in the middle of the page and make the reservation (follow the numbers in the picture below).
- Buy the ticket in person – If there are no tickets available online you can still try your luck and buy them right before the tour in the castle ticket office in the second courtyard of the castle. In summer there is another castle baroque theater tour available after lunch starting either at 1 pm or at 2 pm. You have no choice but going to the castle ticket office in person and checking it´s availability.
- Find the theater – With your ticket in hand you have to find the theater and be in front of it five minutes before the tour – at 9:55. This will be easy. The baroque theater is in the last of five castle courtyards. Just go to the upper parts of the castle, cross a bridge and you are there.
There is one secret tip for you. If there are no tours in English available, buy a ticket for the tour in Czech or in other languages (Czech or German). You won´t understand anything but you´ll see the theater at least. And the tickets for the tour in the Czech language are cheaper, just 250 CZK (10 EURO).
The theater, although more than 250-year-old, is still used for performances a few times a year. There are two events taking place in the theater. The first one is called the Baroque Night and the other one the Festival of Baroque Arts.