National Theatre of Strasbourg

The National Theatre of Strasbourg is a palace building on Strasbourg's Place de la République, now occupied by a theatre company of the same name, the National Theatre of Strasbourg (Théâtre national de Strasbourg - TNS).

Close-up of façade

The TNS was originally built to house the legislative assembly of the regional parliament of Alsace-Lorraine, after the area came under German control with the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871). It was built between 1888 and 1889 in Neorenaissance style by the architect partners August Hartel and Skjold Neckelmann. [1]


In 1919, when Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, the French Government offered the building to the city of Strasbourg, which in turn offered it to the Strasbourg music conservatory, at the behest of its new director Guy Ropartz, who was refusing to occupy the Palais du Rhin opposite.

On 25 September 1944, the east wing of the building that contained the Chamber of the Assembly was destroyed by American bombing. It was reconstructed between 1950 and 1957, this time with a theatre auditorium replacing the assembly chamber. Michel Saint-Denis, the director of the National Theatre of Strasbourg at the time, entrusted this work to the architect Pierre Sonrel, who had recently worked with him in London restoring The Old Vic, which itself had been badly damaged by wartime bombing. [2]

In 1995, the façade, roofing, and the entrance on Place de la République were classified as a Monument historique.[3]


In 1922, the Conservatory of Strasbourg (founded in 1855, the same year as the Orchestre philharmonique) was moved into the upper part of the building and several teaching rooms were built in as well as a concert hall. In 1995, the building wasn't deemed suitable enough for teaching music any more and the conservatory had to move out; it was subsequently relocated in the Cité de la musique et de la danse, a state-of-the-art building inaugurated in 2006. The concert hall has remained unused since. In 2016, the monumental pipe organ, a 1963 work by organ builder Curt Schwenkedel, was restored and moved into Saint Stephen’s Church, where it started a new life as a church organ instead of a concert organ.[4]

Seating capacitiesEdit

The Hartel and Neckelmann building houses two rooms: the salle Bernard-Marie Koltès (470 or 600 seats) and the salle Hubert Gignoux (a 200-seat modular room). Two other theater rooms (120 and 250 seats, respectively) used by the TNS are located in Espace Klaus Michael Grüber in rue Jacques Kablé.[5]


This article incorporates text translated from the French Wikipedia article on the Alsace-Lorraine Diet building as of 4 December 2013.

  1. ^ "7 place de la République". Archi-Strasbourg. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  2. ^ "L'histoire du Théâtre National de Strasbourg". TNS. 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
  3. ^ Ancien palais de la Diète d'Alsace-Lorraine, actuellement École supérieure d'Art dramatique (...) et Théâtre national de Strasbourg on the Mérimée database of the French Ministry of Culture (in French)
  4. ^ "Renaissance d'un Grand Orgue à Strasbourg". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Professionnels". Théâtre national de Strasbourg. Retrieved 30 August 2017.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 48°35′11″N 7°45′19″E / 48.58639°N 7.75528°E / 48.58639; 7.75528