Ferdinand Fellner & Hermann Helmer

The bureau of Ferdinand Fellner jr. (1847–1916) and Hermann Helmer (1849–1919) operated from 1873 until 1919 and was one of the best-known architectural bureaus in Europe. It specialized in the design and construction of theatre buildings and participated in the construction of 48 theatres throughout Europe. Most of these theatres are still in use today.

The following list contains buildings that were planned and/or designed by Fellner & Helmer and which are depicted on glasses of this collection.
Theatres: Augsburg (D): Stadttheater (1877)
Berndorf (A): Stadttheater (1897/98)
Brno (CZ): Mahenský divadlo (Mahen Theatre) (1882)
Budapest (H): Népszinház (National Theatre) (1875)
Fürth (D): Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) (1902)
Gießen (D): Stadttheater (1907)
Graz (A): Opernhaus (1899)
Liberec (CZ): Divadlo Františka Xavera Šaldy (1883)
Toruń (PL): Teatr im. Wilama Horzycy (1903)
Vienna (A): Volkstheater (1889)
Wiesbaden (D): Staatstheater (1894)
Zagreb (HR): Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Zagrebu (1895)
Zürich (CH): Neue Tonhalle (1895)
София (Sofija) (BG): Naroden teatăr "Ivan Vazov" (1906)
Чернівці (Černivci) (UA): Teatrul im. Olgi Kobylyanskoy (1905)
other buildings: Karlovy Vary (CZ): Vřídelní kolonáda (Sprudelkolonnade) (1879)
Karlovy Vary (CZ): Císařské lázně (Kaiserbad) (1895)
Semmering (A): Hotel Erzherzog Johann (1899)
Semmering (A): Hotel Panhans (1913)
Vienna (A): Brewery Liesing (tower) (1898)
Zagreb (HR): Umjetnički paviljon (Art Pavilion) (1898)
Žinkovy (CZ): Žinkovy castle (1897, remodeling by H. Helmer)

Budapest: Népszinház (1875)

Glass no. 117: see Budapest (H)

The National Theatre (Népszínház) (German: Volkstheater) was built in 1874–1875 as a private theatre for the "Volkstheater AG" (National Theatre Inc.). The theatre had 2,400 seats. From 1908 until 1964 it was home to the Nemszeti Színház (National Theatre) drama company. The building was demolished in 1965 during the construction of an underground train system.

Augsburg: Stadttheater (1877)

Glasses no. 1590, 3161: see Augsburg (D)

The Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) [left no. 3161 and right, no. 1590: bottom left] was built in 1876–1877. It was re-opened in 1939 after extensive renovations and altreations, but was destroyed by bombs on 25/26 February 1944. A modern theatre was built in its place in 1952–1956.

Berndorf: Stadttheater (1897/98)

Glass no. 3654: see Berndorf (A)

The municipal theatre [left, no. 3654] was donated by Arthur Krupp on the occasion of Emperor Franz Joseph's 50th anniversary as regent Austrian. The theatre was built in 1897/1898 by the famous Austrian theatre architects Ferdinand Fellner jr. and Hermann Helmer in Historistic Renaissance and Rococo revical style. Originally, the exterior was decorated by colourful frescos of which, however, only parts remain. Although the construction of the theatre was completed in time, the opening was postponed to the following year as on 27 September 1998 Empress Elisabeth had been assassinated in Geneva. Damaged by a fire in 1902, it was restored in 1903 following the riginal designs. Damaged by the bombings of 1944 and by the flooding of the river Triesting in the sae year, the theatre thereafter was neglected. In 1960 it was donated to the municipality of Berndorf. A renovation was carried out in 1960–1964, followed by another one in 1988–1992. Today, the theatre has a capacity of 488 seats. Since 1989 it is the venue for the festival 'Berndorfer Theatersommer'.

Brno: Mahenský divadlo (Mahen Theatre) (1882)

Glass no. 3155: see Brno (CZ)

The Mahen Theatre (Mahenský divadlo) [left] was built in 1881–1882 by the architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in a combination of Neo-renaissance, Neo-baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles as the German Municipal Theatre (Deutsches Stadttheater). When opened in 1882, was one of the first public buildings in the world lit entirely by electric light. Until 1918 it operated as the German theatre, showing productions in German language, while productions in Czech language were shown in the smaller Czech National Theatre (divadlo na Veveří). After the dissolution of the Austrian empire in 1918 and the foundation of the Czechoslovak state, the two theatres exchanged their roles and the larger theatre, now operating in Czech, was renamed Divadlo na Hradbách (Theatre on the Wall) and the first dramatical adviser became the novelist and playwright Jiří Mahen, after whom the theatre has been named since 1965. In 1936, the theatre was largely reconstructed and became one of the most modern theatre buildings in Czechoslovakia. Until the building of Janácek Theatre in 1965 the Mahen Theatre served mainly as an opera house. Since 1965, the theatre has served as the home stage of the dramatical ensemble of the National Theatre in Brno. Mahen Theatre was proclaimed as one of the National Technical Monuments of the Czech Republic.

Karlovy Vary: Vřídelní kolonáda (Sprudelkolonnade) (1879)

Glasses no. 695, 802, 870, 1632: see Karlovy Vary (CZ)

802 Karlovy Vary The Vřídelní kolonáda (Sprudel-Kolonnade, Spring Colonnade) [left: no. 695, right: no. 802, below right: no. 870] houses the best-known of the springs of Karlovy Vary. The "Sprudel" [below left: no. 1632], located on the right bank of the Teplá river, is the strongest of all the local springs. It supplies 2,000 litres per minute. The primary temperature is 73°C, but parts of the waters are also cooled down to 57°C and 41°C for dringking purposes. The fountain (12–14 m high) in the colonnade is one of the popular tourist attractions. The spring had already been known long before Karlovy Vary was founded. The earliest attempts to protect the waters from floodings by the Teplá river date already from around 1500. The cast-iron colonnade was built in 1879 on a design by Fellner and Helmer. This wonderful construction existed until 1939. Provisional wooden colonnade buildings replaced it in 1940 and 1945/1947. A modern construction was finally built in this place in 1969–1975.

1632 Karlovy Vary 870 Karlovy Vary

Liberec: Divadlo Františka Xavera Šaldy (1883)

Glasses no. 2807, 3792: see Liberec (CZ)

The municipal theatre was built in 1881–1883 by the famous Austrian architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in Renaissance revival style after the previous theatre, named "Tuchmachertheater" ('Clothmakers Theatre') had been destroyed by a fire in 1879. Originally, the theatre had been planned for a capacity of 1050, but due to the fire that shortly before had destroyed the Ring Theatre in Vienna it had to be reduced to 850 seats. The main curtain was an early work of Gustav Klimt which he carried out together with his colleague Franz Matsch. Unfortunately, the curtain is in a very poor condition today. Originally, the theatre had been named Reichenberger Stadttheater as it only had a German ensemble. The theatre became famous as a starting point for the career of many later very wellknown actors and singers in the Austrian Monarchy. As of 1923, opera guest performances also were given in Czech language by the theatre company from Olomouc. From 1945 onward, all performances were giiven in Czech language. The theatre was subsequently renamed Severočeské divadlo ('North Bohemian Theatre') and since 1957 is named Divadlo Františka Xavera Šaldy after the Czech critic and writer František Xaver Šalda (1867–1937).
[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._X._Šalda-Theater, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/František_Xaver_Šalda, http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia/index.html]

Vienna: Volkstheater (1889)

Glass no. 026: see Vienna (A)

The Volkstheater (the original name until 1945 was 'Deutsches Volkstheater') was built 1887–1889 for the citizens of Vienna as a counterpart to the Hofburgtheater. The two architects became famous for this type of building and built more than 50 theatres and opera houses in numerous cities in and outside the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The dome of the building was destroyed in 1945 and reconstructed in 1980/81.

Vienna: Liesing Brewery (tower) (1898)

Glass no. 0000: see Vienna [Liesing] (A)

The Liesing Brewery [left, no. 0000: centre] was founded in 1838 and started operating in the following year as Ober-Liesinger Felsenkeller-Bräu. Since 1872 it operated as a public limited company, Aktiengesellschaft der Liesinger Brauerei (or short, Aktienbrauerei Liesing). The small tower depicted on glass no. 0000 [left] was built in 1898 by the architects Helmer and Fellner and soon became the brewery's popular landmark. In 1928 the brewery was merged with the Österreichische Brau-AG. The brewery ended its operations in 1973. In the 1990s, parts of the brewery area were used as a market area for flea markets. After a spectacular major fire oin 2005, these activities were also stopped and demolition work began. From 2008 to 2012, more than 450 apartments, a shopping center, a dormitory and a daycare center were built on the ten-hectare brewery site.

Wiesbaden: Staatstheater (1894)

Glass no. 1610: see Wiesbaden (D)

The Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Hessisches Staatstheater), originally named Königliches Theater, was built in Neo-Baroque style 1892–1894. The Neo-Rococo foyer was added in 1902. The picture on the glass shows the back side of the theatre facing the park Warmer Damm.

Karlovy Vary: Císařské lázně (Kaiserbad) (1895)

Glass no. 2382: see Karlovy Vary (CZ)

The Císařské lázně (Kaiserbad, Emperor Bath, today Bath I) [left: no. 2382] was built by the architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in 1893–1895 in French Renaissance revival and Art déco style. A luxury appartment on the upper floor once was reserved exclusively for Emperor Franz Joseph I.

Zagreb: Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Zagrebu (1895)

Glass no. 3157: see Zagreb (HR)

The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb (Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Zagrebu) [left, no. 3157] was built by the architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in 1895. The building is almost identical to the theatres built by the same architects in Zurich (1891) and Wiesbaden (1892/1894).

Zürich: Neue Tonhalle (1895)

Glass no. 2937: see Zürich (CH)

The Neue Tonhalle [left] was built in 1893–1895 in Historicist style by the architects Ferdinand Fellner jr. and Hermann Helmer from Vienna. Parts of the building were torn own in 1937 and were replaced by the new Kongresshaus in 1939. The concert halls, already part of the original Neue Tonhalle, still are among the best in Europe.

Zagreb: Umjetnički paviljon (Art Pavilion) (1898)

Glass no. 577: see Zagreb (HR)

The Art Pavilion (Umjetnički paviljon) [left, no. 577: top left picture] on King Tomislav Square (Trg kralja Tomislava) is the oldest exhibition hall on the Slavic south and the only building that has been purposely built for major, representative exhibitions. In 1895 the painter Vlado Bukovac launched the initiative for the construction of the Art Pavilion. After the closing of the Millennium exhibition in Budapest, the iron construction frame of the Croatian pavilion was transported to Zagreb. The architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer were charged with designing the building while local constructors were in charge of the construction works. After two years of construction, the Pavilion was formally opened on December 15, 1898, with the representative exhibition 'Croatian Salon'.

Graz: Opernhaus (1899)

Glasses no. 2337, 3365: see Graz (A)

3365 Graz: Opernhaus (ehem. Stadttheater) The see glass Opernhaus [left, no. 2337, and right, no. 3365] was built in 1898–1899 by the famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. The theater, built in Baroque revival style, was named Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) at the time. During World War II it suffered some minor damages of the front parts. Nevertheless, the building was not restoerd to its prior appearance; instead, the façade was simplified, most of the ornamental statues and stuccos were removed, and the portico was pulled down. The interior decorations, however, are still preserved. Major renovation works were carried out in 1983–1985, including the construction of a steel and glass skywalk between the theatre and the new stage warehouse (i. e. the stage house of the old Thalia-Theater). The original iron curtain, painted by Alexander Rothaug was also restored at that occasion. The theatre originally had a capacity of 1,800 seats plus 200 standing; today it has 1,267 seats and 100 standing. It is used by the "Bühnen Graz" for opera, musical and ballet performances.

Semmering: Hotel Erzherzog Johann (1899)

Glasses no. 822, 3354: see Semmering (A)

The  Grand Hotel Erzherzog Johann [left, no. 822, and right, no. 3354: bottom picture], situated at the highest point of the pass, was built by the famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in 1898/99 and replaced an earlier inn of the same name. It has been replaced by a modern building in the 20th century.

Fürth: Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) (1902)

Glass no. 2898: see Fürth (D)

The Stadttheater Fürth (Municipal Theatre) [left] was built in 1901–2902 by by Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer for the city of Fürth, using plans they had originally designed for the Teatr im. Olgi Kobylyanskoy, Černivci (Ukraine) in 1900. The Chernivtsi project had been put on hold at the time. When it was finally constructed in 1904–1905, the original designs were used with slight alterations. Hence, the theatres at Chernivtsi and Fürth are very similar in appearance. The theatre was opened on 17 September 1902 with Beethoven's "Fidelio". Originally it was used in co-operation with the Nürnberg theatre company. Between 1933 and 1944 it was used by a resident theatre company, notably for operetta performances. After World War II, the U.S. Army used it as a military cinema. From 1952 it was again used as a theatre in co-operation with the Nürnberg theatre company. Alterations of the stagehouse and stage technology and interior renovations were made in 1971/1972. The original capacity was 1000 seats, today the theatres has 707 seats.

Toruń: Teatr im. Wilama Horzycy (1904)

Glass no. 2961: see Toruń (PL)

The municipal theatre [left, no. 2961: bottom right picture], today named Teatr im. Wilama Horzycy, was built in 1903–1904 by the architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer from Vienna. The theatre has 842 seats and originally was intended for German cultural propaganda and therefore only used for performances in German. Renovated in 1906 it was used since 1918 for Polish theatre performances. Its present name honours the Polish author and theatre director Wilam Horzyca (1889–1959).
[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toruń, http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia/]

Чернівці (Černivci): Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) (1905)

Glass no. 2445: see Чернівці (Černivci) (UA)

The Theatre (Teatrul im. Olgi Kobylyanskoy) [left] was built in 1904–1905 as Municipal Theatre by the famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer from Vienna. The design had been projected for Czernowitz in 1900, but the project was put on hold for several years. Subsequently, the plans were first used by Fellner and Helmer for the Stadttheater Fürth (Germany) in 1901–1902. As the Czernowitz project was taken up again, the original plans were used with slight alterations. Hence, the theatres of Černivci and Fürth are very similar in appearance. The theatre's capacity was 813 seats. When Czernowitz became the Romanian city of Cernăuţi, the theatre was renamed Teatrul National on 2nd January 1922. When Černivci became Ukrainian, the theatre was renamed in honour of the Ukrainian poet Olga Kobylyanska whose statue is located in front of the theatre.
[Text adapted from http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia/europe/ua_chernivtsi_teatr.htm]

София (Sofija): Naroden teatăr (National Theatre) "Ivan Vazov" (1906)

Glass no. 3357: see София (Sofija) (BG)

The National Theatre (Naroden teatăr "Ivan Vazov") was founded in 1904. The theatre's Neoclassical building, designed by famous Viennese theatre architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, was finished in 1906 and opened on 3 January 1907. The building was extensively damaged by a fire in 1923 during an anniversary celebration, but was reconstructed in 1929 by German architect Martin Dülfer. A theatrical school was established as part of the National Theatre in 1925. The bombing of Sofia in World War II caused considerable damage to the building, but it was reconstructed in 1945. Further reconstruction and restoration projects followed in 1971–1975 and 2006. The auditorium of the main stage has a seating capacity of 750 seats, but included in the building are also a smaller 120-seat stage and a 70-seat stage. Originally named just 'National Theatre', it was named for Bulgarian actor Krăstjo Sarafov in 1952 and finally for the prominent Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov in 1962. The building's façade is depicted on the obverse of the Bulgarian 50 levs banknote, issued in 1999 and 2006.

Gießen: Stadttheater (1907)

Glass no. 761: see Gießen (D)

The Stadttheater (Municipal Theatre) [left] was built in 1907. The theatre was partly destroyed during World War II. It was closed in 1944/45, but reopened already in 1946/47. A thorough renovation in the 1970s emphasized the remaining original parts in Art Nouveau and Neoclassical style.

Semmering: Hotel Panhans (1913)

Glass no. 1292: see Semmering (A)

The Hotel Panhans [right] is probably the best-known of all traditional hotels in Semmering. The hotel was founded in 1888 and was transformed to a Grand Hotel in 1913 by the architects Ferdinand Felner and Hermann Helmer. With 400 rooms it was one of the largest hotels in Europe at that time. After the end of World War I and the break-up of the Austrian Empire, the hotel had to be sold off. It took until the 1930s that the hotel could regain its former position among the leading hotels in Europe. The great popularity ended after World War II. Finally, in 1969, the hotel had to close. In 1978, a joint venture of a private investment group, the municipality of Semmering and the state of Lower Austria began to revitalise the hotel, which was reopened in 1983.

Žinkovy castle (remodeling 1897 by H. Helmer)

Glass no. 4015: see Žinkovy (CZ)

Žinkovy castle [left, no. 4015: top picture] goes back to 1559 when a fortress was built near the Labut ('Swan') pond. The pond also supplied the water for the moat that surrounded the fort. A new castle was built in 1624–1642. This edifice was later gradually expanded into a three-winged manor in Baroque and Classicist styles. Further modifications occurred after 1883 and, most notably, after 1897 when the castle was remodeled in Romantic style by the architect Hermann Helmer (see also list of further buildings by this architect). Parts of the rear wing of the castle were destroyed by a fire in 1918. After World War II it passed to the ROH (State Workers' Union) and from then on was used as a recreation home for workers. In 1999 it was purchased by a private investor.


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