Augsburg is a thriving cultural town in Bavaria. If you want a date with some local culture, Augsburg theaters are everything you could ask for.
Theater Augsburg (Kennedy-Platz 1) was opened in 1877 to much fanfare and celebration. The location chosen was actually where the city moat had once been, although it was filled in at the time. The architects were two famous Viennese called Hellmer and Fellner who incorporated a neo-Renaissance style into the theater.
Their first performance was Beethoven’s “Fidelio.” An unfortunately-timed renovation took place in the late 1930s, only to have much of the theater destroyed during the Second World War. So after even more reconstruction, Theater Augsburg was finally reopened in 1957 with another famous classic production, Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”
This Augsburg Theater is a glittering attraction of gold and glass. The Spa Theater (Parktheater in the Göggingen Spa) opened in 1886 and was an architectural marvel for its time.
Apart from the lovely neo-Renaissance facade, the interior showcased the technology of the day with electric lights, special effects using stage machinery and indoor plumbing.
The Spa Theater has gone through a tumultuous history. It was closed in 1925 and used as a dance space. In 1972, it was slated for destruction, until some of the original decorations were uncovered and the city realized what a mistake tearing it down would be. Instead, it was lovingly renovated and granted landmark status.
These days, you can still go see a show in this historic theater. There are 360 seats in which to watch the various performances that are held here.
Augsburg Marionette Theater (Puppenkiste)
For a fun-filled night of local culture, it’s hard to do better than the Marionette Theater (Spitalgasse 15). This Augsburg theater was begun in 1943 by the Öhmichen family.
This determined family didn’t let the war stand in their way either. After the original Marionette Theater was bombed into oblivion, the father Walter had opened a new one by 1948. The theater was the subject of many TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s, bringing such characters as the cat Mikesch, Urmel and Jim Knopf into homes across Germany.
This legacy is still going strong today. The grandsons of Walter and Rose Öhmichen still write new plays, craft new marionettes and manage the Augsburger Puppenkiste.
For a departure from the typical Hollywood blockbuster, check out the Liliom (Unterer Graben 1). This cinema features home-grown, independent films from famous directors and fascinating documentaries. Some German language skill is required, or bring a new German friend along with you! ;-)