Croatia’s second oldest theatre and the oldest theatre still being in use to these days, was built in 1870. Šibenik’s people are very proud of one particular theatre’s distinctiveness: the construction was not financed by the state or the city, but by a group of 28 prominent citizens. Once built, it was the largest and most beautiful theatre in South Europe. In 1896 the theatre got electric lighting as one of the first theatre’s in the world.
Its auditorium depicts a reproduction of a little Venetian theatre “Teatro La Fenice”. Nowadays the Croatian National Theatre in Šibenik (Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Šibeniku) besides typical art and cultural events hosts business events as well. And for its eternal beauty, the theatre has been also used, for example, for promotional videos of the world-famous (and Šibenik native) piano player Maksim Mrvica.
The theatre is located on the east entrance to the Šibenik’s Old Town; so once stepping out of the theatre, the event visitor gets drawn into the medieval stone streets full of historical buildings, including the ones from UNESCO’s list of historical-cultural heritage, eateries (konobas), coffee bars, prestigious restaurants, and shops with local specialites (from food and wine to jewelery). Šibenik’s open-market is also just a stone’s throw away.
Another jewel that one can quickly rich from the theatre’s doorstep, is the Šibenik’s coast. The path to the Šibenik’s promenade leads through a beautiful Robert Visaini Park which wears a name of a world-known botanist from the 19th Century. Just a few stairs before reaching the coast from the park, a modern statue, dedicated to the 11th Century king of Croatia and Dalmatia Peter Krešimir IV the Great, greets the park’s visitor. Krešimir the Great, seating high on the chair and protectively over-viewing the town and the sea, is considered to be the founder of City of Šibenik. Therefore, Šibenik is sometimes called »the Krešimir’s City« (Krešimirov grad).
On the promenade, one can either take a pleasant walk around or sit on the benches overlooking the St.Anthony’s Channel and the by-passing fishing boats slowly floating on the edges of marvelous sunsets.
Having special value in the theatre building is the ceiling above the stage, which was decorated in 1868 with allegoric imagery of renowned people from Šibenik by the artist Antun Zuccaro. The ceiling’s decoration holds an image of a woman, as a symbol of Dalmatia, leaning on a stone coat of arms.
Around and above the woman, important Šibenik’s residents are portrayed: Faust Vrančić (a distinguished Croatian inventor and encyclopaedist during the Renaissance time, whose one of the most important inventions was the parachute as we know today), Nikola Tommaseo (Italian linguist, journalist, and essayist from the 19th Century), Antun Vrančić (Croatian prelate, writer, diplomat and Archbishop of the 16th Century), Martin Kolunić Rota (artist and printmaker from the 16th Century), and Andrija Medulić (16th Century’s Italian Renaissance painter and etcher).
For events, the theatre’s auditorium offers 300 seats, the foyer, on the other hand, can be used for smaller events of up to 70-80 persons. The auditorium can host conferences, symposiums, promotions, while the foyer is used for smaller programmes like smaller seminars, media conferences, banquets, etc. Next to the foyer, a bar can be used for the events as well.
By the ground floor’s entrance, an atrium can be used for reception, smaller banquets and similar. In addition, the theatre has four dressing rooms of which three can be used for 6, while one for up to 4 people.
The theatre cooperates with three catering providers: restaurant “Peškarija”, restaurant “Atrium”, and restaurant “Vijećnica”.