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Berlin State Opera

  • Staatsoper Berlin
  • Staatsoper-Foyer_visumate-visitberlin.jpg
  • Staatsoper Unter den Linden

The Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Unter den Linden) was built as the Royal Court Opera by the architect Knobelsdorff. It is worth a visit not only for the first-class performances, but also for its beautiful architecture.

The State Opera was built as the Royal Court Opera and was the first opera house ever to be spatially separated from the ruler's residence. When Frederick II took over the reins of government in 1740, the expansion of the city had been completed. Now the task was to fill the space gained with representative architecture. The first project was a new city center, the Forum Fridericianum, which was to bring together the arts, sciences and politics, symbolized by extraordinary architecture.

The first building to be erected in 1741-43 was the opera house, the first free-standing opera house ever to be spatially separated from the ruler's residence. The architect was Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, Surintendant of the Royal Palaces, Houses and Gardens and Directeur en chef of all immediate buildings in all provinces.

Architecture of the Berli State Opera

With Knobelsdorff and Frederick the Great, the Rococo, French-influenced but with more playful, lighter forms, now made its way into Berlin's interior architecture. An elegant, but also sometimes austere, Classicist Baroque was introduced to the exterior. The opera house was originally a simple, rectangular building with a magnificent portico on the front side facing the linden trees and narrow risalites with a flight of steps and columns on the long sides.

Reconstruction of the State Opera

Several reconstructions, for example after a fire in 1843 and a fundamental reconstruction in 1926, decisively changed the exterior of the opera house. Both the strongly protruding central risalites in front of the long sides and the box-shaped stage tower were added, but during the reconstruction in 1952-55 according to plans by Richard Paulick, it was given an almost original-looking wall division. The figural program of the exterior shows ancient poets and figures of Greek mythology. The interior decoration is a work of the 1950s, based on Knobelsdorff's original.

General Renovation of the State Opera

The building underwent a general renovation from 2010 to 2017. The auditorium was given a higher ceiling to improve the acoustics. During the renovation, the building on Unter den Linden was closed; the Schillertheater on Bismarckstrasse in Charlottenburg was used as a temporary venue.

Information, Address and Opening Hours

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Unter den Linden 7
10117 Berlin
+49 (0)30 203 544 38
Barrier-free access via the main entrance or via the underground car park. All floors accessible via elevator. Wwheelchair-accessible bathrooms. Wheelchair spaces on all floors. Induction loop for hearing-impaired visitors.

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Last edited: 10 November 2022