The “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre is Bulgaria’s biggest theatre, as well as the oldest and most stand out and most imposing theatre in the country. This theatre is one of the major landmarks in Sofia due to its prime location and grandiose architecture.
The National theatre is located in the centre of Sofia and its edifice faces the City Garden. The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. The theatre employs some of the country’s best actors and stage directors, many of whom are widely popular.
Founded in 1904 by the artists from the “Salza i Smyah” theatre, initially, it was called simply the National Theatre, but soon after it was named after the prominent Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov. The theatre’s Neoclassical building, designed by famous Viennese theatre architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner, was finished in 1906 and opened in 1907. A theatrical school was established as part of the National Theatre in 1925.
A fire in 1923 and the bobmings in the World Was II seriously damaged the building, so the theater had a few reconstructions during the time. The number of seats in the main hall was increased, the scene was more spacious and modern equipment was provided. Virtually the original appearence of the theater was preserved, however, changes were made in the volume, interior and facade.