From the Print Cabinet’s collection
The Bourla Theatre was designed on behalf of the city in 1827 by civic architect Pierre Bourla. It was built in neo-classical style.
Pierre Bourla coupled his respect for classical architecture with a broad eclecticism, without losing sight of functional considerations.
Building work started in 1829, but was delayed by the Belgian Revolution. Eventually, the theatre was completed in 1834 and opened under the name ‘Grand Théâtre’ or ‘Théâtre Royal Français’, after the French-speaking company that performed there. One innovative feature was the semi-circular entrance with a large public foyer above it.