The Burgtheater in Vienna is the most renowned theater in the German-speaking world.

It was founded by Maria Theresa in 1741, and was originally located in a ballroom in the Hofburg, the imperial palace.

The theater moved to a building in Michaelerplatz ten years later.

The Burgtheater was declared a national theater in 1776.

Construction of a new building began in 1874 and ending in 1888. This new Renaissance-style structure, located on the Ringstrasse, was designed by Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenaur.

The theater was refurbished in 1897, after it was discovered that the acoustics were very bad, and that there were a few seats in the auditorium from which the stage could not be viewed.

A bomb destroyed almost all of the Burgtheater in 1945. However, after it was restored between 1952 and 1955, the theater reopened, and now it is almost impossible to tell just how severe the damage was.

The Burgtheater is known for its beautiful design as well as for the performances that it hosts.

There is a statue of Apollo, the Greek god of music and poetry, on the building's front facade. Apollo is seated between the muses Thalia and Melpomene.

Below is a frieze, by Rudolf Weyr, of Bacchus/Dionysus (god of drama) and Ariadne, his wife.

The windows of the Burgtheater are framed with Corinthian columns topped with busts of famous playwrights, including Goethe, Shakespeare and Molière

There are portraits of famous actors along the walls of the Burgtheater's a 200 foot (60 meter) foyer, which curves around the theater's central hall.

Elegant grand staircases in the theater's north and south wings are lined with the bust of playwrights whose works have been performed at the theater. Frescoes above the staircases were painted by Gustav and Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch.

Thespis, the first performer of a Greek tragedy, can be seen on Der Thespiskarren, a fresco that which was painted by Gustav Klimt between 1886 and 1888,.

In addition to viewing any of the many German-language performances by the Burgtheater's theatrical company, visitors can take a tour of this magnificent building.