The imposing, daffodil-yellow Neo-Baroque edifice of the Croatian National Theatre (HNK Zagreb) dominates Trg maršala Tita, the northeastern link in the network of parks around Zagreb’s Donji Grad (Lower Town), which forms the city’s cultural district. The theater was designed by Austrian architects and opened by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1895; it is punctuated by towers on each corner and topped with a copper dome. The interior is equally opulent, a riot of marble, gilded columns and frescoed ceilings – also by Austrian artists – interspersed with busts of composers and opera singers
The scarlet-and-gold auditorium has the capacity to seat 800 and the repertoire includes a full season of ballet, orchestral and opera. As well as being the home of the Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian National Theatre attracts big-name performers and theater companies from all over the world. In the square outside the theatre stands “The Well of Life,” a vast bronze sculpture by 20th-century Croatian master Ivan Meštrović in 1905.