National Theatre Munich

National Theatre Munich is a magnificent neoclassical building at Max-Joseph-Platz, housing Bavarian state opera and ballet.

Nationaltheater, which contains the world’s 3rd largest opera stage, was completed in 1818 from plans by Karl von Fischer.

The building replaced an earlier opera house, Schinnagl opera, which had been demolished in 1802.

When it was opened to the public, the first opera performance was Ferdinand Fränzl’s opera, “Die Weihe”.

The nationaltheater opera house was, however, modernized and rebuilt several times over the years…

…with the 1925 renovations elevating it to the world stage, thanks to the place then being a pioneer in opera stage technologies.

Nationaltheater Munich Germany

PHOTO: Nationaltheater, as seen from the nearby Residenz palace.

National Theater Munich Germany

PHOTO: Latin text on the opera house’s neoclassical facade reads: “APOLLINI MVSISQVT REDDITVM MCMLXIII”, or “APOLLO AND MUSES RETURNED 1963″… a reference to the Apollo statue (surrounded by nine muses) above the text, and to the year of the reopening (after WWII) of the opera house.

King Maximilian I Joseph statue Munich Germany

PHOTO: Max-Joseph-Platz square, named after Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph (in reign from 1806-1825), who commissioned building the Nationaltheater. Commemorative monument at the center of the square is dedicated to the king, who was a friend of the arts in general. For example, he also founded the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (, the Munich Art Academy, in 1808.

Nationaltheater was completely destroyed in 1943, in World War II.

Rebuilding (based on original drawings by Karl von Fischer) of the current building commenced in 1958…

…with the rebuilt Nationaltheater opening its doors five years later, in 1963.

Today, Nationaltheater is known for many things, but especially for itsopera stage, which, at 2,500 m2, is the world’s 3rd largest.

Only stages at Bastille opera in Paris ( and Teatr Wielk in Warsaw ( are larger.

Nationaltheater has been praised for having excellent acoustics, which is a result of innovative use of wood throughout the building’s frame.

Nowadays, Bayerische Staatsoper as well as the Staatsballett ( perform at the opera house.

In terms of opera, Munich is closely associated with Richard Wagner.

Wagner lived in Munich from 1864 – 1886, and during his stay, made the city world famous center for opera.

Wagner’s productive period in Munich included four masterpieces:

  • 1865 “Tristan und Isolde“,
  • 1868 “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
  • 1869 “Das Rheingold“, and
  • 1870 “Die Walküre“.

National Theatre Munich

Address: Max-Joseph-Platz 2, 80539 Munich, Germany
Official website:

Staatsoper is also responsible for starting the annual Münchner Operfestspiele opera festival ( in 1875…

…but that event has been housed by the Prinzregententheater since 1901.