Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth

A masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture, built between 1745 and 1750, the Opera House is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its auditorium retains its original materials, i.e. wood and canvas. Commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine, wife of Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg–Bayreuth, it was designed by the renowned theatre architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena. As a court opera house in a public space, it foreshadowed the large public theatres of the 19th century. The highly decorated theatre’s tiered loge structure of wood with illusionistic painted canvas represents the ephemeral ceremonial architectural tradition that was employed in pageants and celebrations for princely self-representation.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Opéra margravial de Bayreuth

Ce chef-d’œuvre de l’architecture théâtrale baroque, construit entre 1745 et 1750, est le seul exemple entièrement conservé de l’architecture de l’opéra de cour. Cinq cents personnes peuvent y apprécier de façon authentique la culture et l’acoustique des opéras baroques, dans un décor où subsistent des éléments en bois et des toiles peintes d’origine. Commandé par la margravine Wilhelmine, épouse de Frédéric, margrave de Brandebourg-Bayreuth, l’opéra a été conçu par Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, architecte réputé. En tant qu’opéra de cour érigé dans un espace public (et non dans un palais), il annonce les grands opéras publics du XIXe siècle. La loge de la Cour, avec ses deux niveaux, marie le bois et les toiles peintes ; cette structure à colombage très décorée est un exemple de l’architecture éphémère qui joua un rôle exceptionnel dans les cérémonies et les parades d’auto-représentation de la Cour.


Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ópera de los Margraves de Bayreuth

Obra maestra de la arquitectura teatral del Barroco, construida entre 1745 y 1750, este teatro de ópera cortesana es el único en su género que se conserva intacto. Los quinientos espectadores que puede albergar su recinto tienen la oportunidad de revivir la cultura operística barroca, incluso en el plano acústico, ya que el teatro ha conservado sus materiales de construcción primigenios, como la madera y la tela. Su construcción fue ordenada por Guillermina de Prusia, esposa del margrave Federico de Brandenburgo-Bayreuth, y su diseño se debe al afamado arquitecto teatral Giuseppe Galli Bibiena. Por ser un teatro de ópera cortesana edificado como elemento integrante del espacio urbano público, se puede decir que prefiguró los grandes teatros públicos del siglo XIX. El palco a dos niveles de los soberanos, con su rica ornamentación de madera y lienzo pintado, es un ejemplo muy representativo de la arquitectura ceremonial efímera utilizada para realzar el boato principesco en festividades y celebraciones.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Markgraaf opera Bayreuth

De Markgraaf opera werd gebouwd tussen 1745 en 1750 en is een meesterwerk van barok theaterarchitectuur. Het is het enige compleet bewaarde voorbeeld van zijn soort, waar een gehoor van 500 man authentiek de barokke hofoperacultuur en akoestiek kan ervaren omdat het auditorium nog zijn originele materialen – hout en canvas – heeft. Het operagebouw is ontworpen door de befaamde theaterarchitect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, in opdracht van gravin Wilhelmine, de vrouw van Frederick, markgraaf van Brandenburg-Bayreuth. De hofopera stond op publiek terrein en was daarmee de voorbode van de grote publieke theaters van de 19e eeuw.

Source: unesco.nl

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The 18th century Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth is a masterwork of Baroque theatre architecture, commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine of Brandenburg as a venue for opera seria over which the princely couple ceremonially presided. The bell-shaped auditorium of tiered loges built of wood and lined with decoratively painted canvas was designed by the then leading European theatre architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena.

The sandstone façade designed by court architect Joseph Saint Pierre provides a focal point within the urban public space that was particularly planned for the building. As an independent court opera house rather than part of a palace complex, it marks a key point in opera house design, foreshadowing the large public theatres of the 19th century. Today it survives as the only entirely preserved example of court opera house architecture where Baroque court opera culture and acoustics can be authentically experienced. The attributes carrying Outstanding Universal Value are its location in the original 18th century public urban space; the 18th century Baroque façade; the original 18th century roof structure spanning 25 metres; the internal layout and design of the ceremonial foyer, tiered loge theatre and stage area including all existing original materials and decoration.

Criterion (i): The Margravial Opera House is a masterwork of Baroque court theatre architecture by Giuseppe Galli Bibiena in terms of its tiered loge form and acoustic, decorative and iconological properties.

Criterion (iv): The Margravial Opera House is an outstanding example of a Baroque court theatre. It marks a specific point in the development of opera houses, being a court opera house located not within a palace but as an urban element in the public space, foreshadowing the great public opera houses of the 19th century.


The elements necessary to express outstanding universal value are included within the property as one sole building and are intact and in good condition. No adverse effects are expected to occur and an overall conservation and restoration plan has been approved by the State Party.


Most of the building and the decorative programme of the loge theatre remain unchanged. Adaptations were due to regulations for fire safety in public buildings and requirements in line with the contemporary use of theatres. The highly unified Baroque work can still be appreciated. The survival of the interior materials of wood and canvas enable the opera house’s original acoustic quality to still be appreciated, and testifies to the authenticity of the property as an 18th century opera house.

Protection and management requirements

The property is protected at State level by the Bavarian Law for the Protection and Preservation of Monuments (1973, 2007). It is also protected by inclusion on the List of Monuments of Bayreuth under the Bayreuth City Civic Statutes and Ordinances. The buffer zone has been agreed and established with local authorities and its historic buildings are included in the Bayreuth Monuments List.

The Management authority is the Bavarian Palaces Department. Implementation of the Management Plan is guaranteed by a steering group including the Bavarian Palaces Department; the City of Bayreuth; the Upper Franconia regional government; the Bavarian State Ministry for Science, Research and Arts; the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Historic Buildings, and ICOMOS Germany. As a result of research, experience and consultations the impact of visitors and events has been regulated by the Bavarian Department of Palaces. Effective measures have been established to control the number of visitors and frequency of events which will be exclusively limited to the summer period after the restoration program is concluded.