The Mariinsky Theatre has remained the cultural heart of the city for more than two centuries, surviving fire, war and a revolution. Theatre Square has been home to St. Petersburg’s leading theaters since 1783, though the Mariinsky as it stands today didn’t open until 1860, after a fire destroyed the earlier Circus Theatre on the same site. Since then its gilded interiors draped in velvet have witnessed the premieres of many of Russia’s most famous ballets, plays and operas.
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