The National Theatre is a showcase of Hungarian artists and stage directors. Traditional theatre classics, contemporary plays and adaptations from Hungarian literature are on the repertoire. The building is within the Millennium Quarter, a new block between Petőfi and Lágymányosi bridges. Although it’s not centrally located, this area is becoming one of the new cultural centers of Budapest. Museums like the Ludwig Museum and the Palace of Arts are also located here.
Designed by architect Mária Siklós, the National Theatre has a 619-seat auditorium. The stage is a real moving stage that can be raised at 72 different points, which makes it unique in Europe. The park surrounding the theatre building is full of statues portraying famous Hungarian actors. The park’s sculpted gate was designed by contemporary sculptor Miklós Melocco.
Hungary’s old National Theatre used to be at Blaha Lujza Square, until 1964 when it was torn down by the ruling Communist government. Finding the appropriate location for the new national theatre was the topic of heated debates for decades. In the 1990s the planned location of the new National Theater was Erzsébet Square in the center of the city. Construction started and the underground parking had been built when a new government was elected and the plans were abandoned. They selected the current location in 2000 and the theatre was inaugurated on March 15, 2002.
Getting to the National Theatre: Take the Suburban Railway (HÉV) from Boráros tér to Lágymányosi Bridge station (Boráros tér – Csepel route), or Streetcar 2 to Millenniumi Kulturális Központ station.