Neven Bosilj, PhD, Mayor of Varaždin
There Is No Urban Place without a Theatre
Varaždin is unique in many ways, and the Croatian National Theater in Varaždin is one of the peculiarities that contributes to this. Varaždin and the citizens of Varaždin have always had an exceptional interest in the theater, a special connection that has remained unchanged since 1637., when the first records of theater life date back to the present day.
Varaždin lives the Theater, and the Theater lives for Varaždin from the first public theater in the area next to the Jesuit church where performances were held from 1788. to 1800., through the theater in the Mekovec Palace in Kranjčevićeva Street, which operated from 1820. to 1873. as a public theater with 350 seats, to today’s HNK in Varaždin, whose building is one of the symbols of Varaždin, Varaždin tradition and culture for 150 years.
The HNK building in Varaždin itself is the debut of the famous Viennese architect Hermann Helmer, who after Varaždin designed another 48 theaters throughout Europe. The present appearance is due to the Zagreb architect Aleksandar Freudenreich, according to whose designs the Theater was remodeled in the 1950s, and today we are proud of the theater hall with 370 seats, the concert hall with 250 seats, the Zvonimir Rogoz basement stage with 80 seats and the small Europa media hall with 140 seats. .
Varaždin is a people, and we are especially proud of our permanent acting ensemble, which has been working with minor interruptions since 1945. until today, and of numerous widely known actors, directors and conductors who are responsible for the fact that since 2013. our Theater has had national status.
Today, the HNK in Varaždin is a contemporary theater, open to young actors and new ideas, and the special feature is still the nurturing of the Kajkavian dialect.
There is no urban environment without a theater, and this monograph vividly shows the connection of the Theater with the city, people, art… it conveys an enriching experience. Like the theater, the city stimulates emotions, teaches and helps to understand the significance and meaning of our Theatre, not only for Varaždin, but also for Croatian culture and heritage as a whole.