Teatro Nacional D. Maria II at Lisbon!

And talking about theaters well been to a few, not from a pro angle but mostly because of their history and architecture which I like. Visiting Lisbon, Portugal is always a pleasure and many times there and many friends.

I ,of course, have written several posts on Portugal in my blog; but decided to do justice to this cultural monument in the old town. I like to tell you a bit more about the Dom Maria II National Theater or Teatro Nacional D. Maria II of Lisbon.

The National Theatre Dona Maria II or Teatro Nacional D. Maria II is located on the Rossio neighborhood at Praça D. Pedro IV in the historic heart of the old town of Lisbon. The theatre is one of the most prestigious venues in the country.

It is built on the northern façade of the Rossio square at the site of the former Estaus Palace , built around 1450 to house the foreign dignitaries and the nobles visiting Lisbon. In the 16C, the Estaus Palace became the seat of the Portuguese Inquisition. The palace was spared by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake but is completely destroyed by a fire in 1836.

Thanks to the stubborn efforts of the Romantic poet and writer Almeida Garrett, it is decided to replace the old palace with a modern theatre dedicated to Queen Mary II of Portugal. The construction began in 1842 on plans of the Italian neoclassical to finish in 1846.

The Theater of D Maria II  is one of the best representatives of the influence of neo-Palladianism in Lisbon. The main element of the façade is a portico of six Ionic columns supporting a triangular pediment. The tympanum is decorated with bas-reliefs representing Apollo and the Muses. The pediment is surmounted by a statue of the Renaissance playwright Gil Vicente, considered the father of the Portuguese theater. Some of Gil Vicente’s plays were censored by the Inquisition at the end of the 16C.

Lisbon

The interior is decorated by the best Portuguese artists of the 19C, but the bulk of the original decoration was lost in a fire that occurred in 1964. The theater D. Maria II had to be completely renovated and only re-opened its doors in 1978. The building that you see today was reconstructed preserving the original neoclassical style from the 1840s.

There are guided tours that lead you from the performance rooms to the unseen areas in the theater backstage, including dressing rooms, technical areas, prop and costume-making rooms. The guided tours take approximately one hour, and are available in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. Enjoy it!

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official webpage Theater of D. Maria II in Portuguese

Tourist office of Lisbon on the Theater D Maria II in English

Tourist office of Portugal on theater D Maria II in English

There you go a cultural stop on your glorious walking of Lisbon as we did; and plenty to see and taste around it too. Enjoy the theater of D Maria II and Lisbon!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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