14-18 Langres

at war

The Theater’s construction in 19th century


On 17th December 1833, the municipal council decided to install a theater in the old church of the seminary. Previously, the town had profitably sold the ramparts to the army and was thus in possession of a good sum of money. The creation of a theater was thus thought a suitable idea to compensate the loss for the population « all at once deprived, by the sale of the ramparts, of pleasures and advantages which had been dear to them for many years »

The building had been bought after the Revolution with the idea of making it a theater. For lack of funds, it had been used as a depot. On 19th December 1833, the municipal council decided to consecrate 30 000 francs to carry out the necessary work. The plans were drawn up by the architects Santa and Sylvestre. After much tergiversation, mainly to do with the cost of the project, the plans were reworked several times until the work was made to fit in with the allocated budget.

Renovation commenced in 1836 and was completed in 1838 with the installation of central heating. The initial project for the facade only retained the ancient columns and their entablature along with the gateway with its recesses on each side. The upper fronton, which was to be replaced by four statues and a window, was finally reduced and sculpted with objects relating to the new use of the building.

The interior was decorated by a Venetian artist, Napoleon Sachetti, and is totally in accordance with Restauration style: the ceiling shows « decoration borrowed from Herculanum, bas-reliefs on a blue background with griffons, Roman objects, golden pilasters... festoons and garlands » (Le théâtre de Langres et son passé historique, 1838-1850 – F. Boissard). The boxes were also decorated with griffons holding up medallions containing mainly portraits of great play-wrights.

Theatre en plan

Theatre en plan

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