Cuvilliés Theatre | Old Residence Theatre

Live on stage

Residenzstraße 1, 80333 Munich

Fare Zone M

U3, U6 Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz, U4, U5 Odeonsplatz

19, 21 Nationaltheater

100, 153 Odeonsplatz

1 € on regular entrance fee*

Cuvilliés Theatre

Old Residence Theatre

What is now called the Cuvilliés Theatre , after its architect, François Cuvilliés the Elder, consists of the auditorium of a theatre that Elector Maximilian  Joseph III built in 1751-55 as his "new opera house". Originally reserved exclusively for members of court, the theatre lay in close proximity to the Residence. Many lavish opera productions were mounted here, including the first performances of Mozart's  Idomeneo , in 1781.

Demolition in 1944

The building housing the theatre was destroyed on  18 March  1944. Its place on the site between the Royal Palace of the Residence and the  Nationaltheater  on Max-Joseph-Platz was taken by the New Residence Theatre, erected from 1945 to 1951. In 1943. the painted wood carvings and other tier fittings of the original Cuvilliés Theatre had been removed to safety. In 1956 they were presented to the Bavarian Administration of State-owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes, which restored them over the next two years and reassembled them in a new building near the Apothecary Court in the Residence. The Cuvilliés Theatre is also known as the Old Residence Theatre. This is to distinguish it from the new, post-war building. Which is now reached from the Fountain Court.


Nothing remains of the ceiling painting by Johann Baptist Zimmermann that originally graced the auditorium, but the elaborate carved decoration of the tiers, with its figures, floral ornament, and patterning, makes the Cuvilliés Theatre not only a major work of Bavarian Rococo, but a  Gesamtkunstwerk with few equals in Europe. In all objects of the Bavarian Palace Department, a TEXTILE mouth-and-nose protector must be brought and worn in the interior during the entire tour. Visitors without mouth-nose protection must, unfortunately, be refused entry; this also applies if a medical certificate is presented which confirms that one cannot/may not wear a mouth-nose protection. Detailed information can be found on the website of the Bavarian Palace Department.

Your Benefit with CityTourCard Munich: 1 € discount on the admission fee*
*only redeemable on-site, not online


For current opening hours please visit our partner’s website!


Wheelchair accessible Wardrobe