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A little history of Bordeaux Grand Theatre

The theatre | Patrick Despoix / CC-BY-SA
Auditorium Bordeaux Grand Theatre

A new theatre

The old theatre just set to fire. So they decided to rebuild a brand new one, on the foundations of an old Roman temple, near the old medieval stronghold called château Trompette.

The building site began in December 1773, managed by architect Victor Louis.

He raised the castle of Bouilh (Gironde), the Palais-Royal's galleries in Paris...

But quickly, they had money troubles: even king stopped the building site! Victor Louis succeeded in finding the money and the construction went on.

The theatre was completed in 1780: it cost the modest sum of... 3 000 000 francs!

A magnificent decoration

So, this nice Neoclassical building looked like a square building with a peristyle flanked by 12 Corinthian columns.

These columns were crowned by an entablature with 12 allegoric statues (muses and goddess).

Inside, the ceiling was made by painter Jean-Baptiste Robin, who represented Apollo and the muses.

Unfortunately, those paintings were made on a wooden vault, so quickly, candles heat blackened the painting and bend the wood!

Fortunately, Robin did a copy of his painting... So in 1917, they redone it identically!

In 1990, our theatre was completely restored. For instance, the primitive decoration of the auditorium was made in blue, white and gold (monarchy colours): they replaced it by red and gold, 19th century typically vivid colours...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!