The National Theatre is located in a grand neoclassical building on the north side of the Rossio. Founded in 1846, Teatro Dona Maria II was created for the purpose of developing and promoting the performing arts in Portugal.
The theatre’s final location was eventually chosen to be the site of the former Inquisitional Palace, destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. It was inaugurated during the celebrations of the D. Maria II’s 27th birthday, thereby taking the queen’s name.
In the twentieth century, the theatre would be completely destroyed by a fire in 1964. The building that you see today was reconstructed and reopened in 1978, preserving the original neoclassical style from the 1840s.
There are guided tours every Monday at 11 am (except holidays and August) that lead you from the performance rooms to the unseen areas in the theatre backstage, including dressing rooms, technical areas, prop and costume-making rooms. The guided tours take approximately one hour, and are available in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. The price for an adult ticket is €8.
Praça Dom Pedro IV, www.teatro-dmaria.pt