Largest country collections: Austria (c.150)    Czech Rep. (c.170)    France (c.1380)    Germany (c.1850)    Italy (c.570)    Netherlands (c.140)    Poland (c.200)    Romania (c.170)    Russia (c.580)    Ukraine (c.290)    UK (c.530)    USA (c.1030)
Cities: Berlin (156)    London (185)    Moskva (48)    New York (82)    Paris (195)    Wien (57)   
Galleries: Projects     Models     Curtains     Chairs     Chandeliers     Backstage     Theatregoers    Concerts    Cinema audiences    Puppet Shows    Children with toy theatres    Circus audiences    Animal audiences    Shadow Play    Storytelling
Other: Miscellaneous Theatres    Special Pages    Carthalia World Map (via Wikidata)

A   Albania    Algeria    Andorra    Angola    Argentina    Armenia    Aruba    Australia    Austria    Azerbaijan
B    Bahrain    Bangladesh    Barbados    Belarus    Belgium    Benin    Bolivia    Bosnia and Herzegovina    Brazil    Bulgaria    Burkina Faso
C    Cambodia    Cameroon    Canada    Cape Verde    Chile    China    Colombia    Congo (D. R.)    Costa Rica    Côte d'Ivoire    Croatia    Cuba    Cyprus    Czech Republic
D    Denmark    Djibouti    Dominican Republic
E    Ecuador    Egypt    El Salvador    Equatorial Guinea    Eritrea    Estonia    Ethiopia
F    Faroes    Finland    France
G    Gabon    Georgia    Germany    Ghana    Gibraltar    Greece    Greenland    Guatemala
H    Haiti    Hungary
I    Iceland    India    Indonesia    Iran    Iraq    Ireland    Isle of Man    Israel    Italy
J    Jamaica    Japan    Jersey    Jordan   
K    Kazakhstan    Kenya    Korea    Kosovo    Kuwait    Kyrgyzstan
L    Latvia    Lebanon    Libya    Liechtenstein    Lithuania    Luxembourg
M    Madagascar    Malaysia    Mali    Malta    Mauritius    Mexico    Moldova    Monaco    Mongolia    Montenegro    Morocco    Mozambique    Myanmar
N    Namibia    Netherlands    New Zealand    Nicaragua    Niger    Nigeria    North Macedonia    Norway
O    Oman   
P    Palestine    Panama    Papua New Guinea    Paraguay    Peru    Philippines    Poland    Portugal    Puerto Rico
R    Romania    Russia
S    San Marino    São Tomé and Príncipe    Senegal    Serbia    Singapore    Slovakia    Slovenia    Somalia    South Africa    Spain    Suriname    Sweden    Switzerland    Syria
T    Taiwan    Tajikistan    Trinidad & Tobago    Tunisia    Turkey    Turkmenistan
U    Uganda    Ukraine    United Kingdom    United States    U.S. Virgin Islands    Uruguay    Uzbekistan
V    Vanuatu    Venezuela    Vietnam
Z    Zimbabwe

CARTHALIA shows my collection of old and new postcards of over 24,000 exterior and interior views of over 9,200 theatres.

CARTHALIA includes ancient theatres, drama theatres, opera houses, variety theatres, cabarets, music halls, cinemas, spa theatres, casinos, garden theatres, ship theatres, open-air stages, concert halls, houses of culture, multi-purpose halls (with significant non-sport use) and similar buildings worldwide, of all times. Also included are cards depicting theatre fires, theatre ruins, and plans, models, or paintings of theatres. Excluded from this site are ancient amphitheatres (which are rather sport stadiums than theatres and are only included if they have been used for theatre performances in modern times). In addition to the geographical navigation, some "galleries" show cards of theatre, concert, circus and cinema audiences, toy theatres, puppet shows, backstage views and some other themed collections.

CARTHALIA is not intended to be "purist" in any way, as it also contains some non-postcard collectables such as theatre tickets, trading cards, greeting cards, postal stamps, first day covers, postal stationery, decorative postmarks, decorative unofficial stamps, money bills, telephone cards, beer mats or fridge magnets.

Giving a complete account of the history of each theatre is clearly out of scope of a project like this - the accompanying texts are merely thought to give a short overview of a building's history. To illustrate the importance of a theatre building, some dates of world premieres of famous and lesser known works of the international dramatic, operatic and symphonic repertoire are listed. The texts are heavily indebted to a lot of books on theatre architecture (see Selected Bibliography), countless web pages including Wikipedia, and many useful comments from friends and internet users worldwide. Most pages have links to matching articles on Wikipedia or a link to a Wikidata item.

An unlinked list entry in the menu on the left means that I have not yet scanned my postcard(s) of that theatre.

CARTHALIA is a made-up word mixing

  • CARD, derived from the Latin CHARTA (= a sheet of paper , also root of the French "carte", Italian "cartolina", German "Karte", Russian "kartochka" and many more)

  • with THALIA, the Greek Muse of comedy. While other Muses, such as Melpomene (the muse of tragedy), Euterpe (music), Terpsichore (dance), and also Clio (history), would be equally suitable patrons for this site, Thalia is probably most widely known as the theatrical Muse. There are even several theatres named in her honour. If you think that all this is not enough of fancy mythology, you might consider that Thalia, like all muses, is a daughter of Zeus (powerful ruler of Heaven) and Mnemosyne (goddess of Memory) - in a similar vein, this collection tries to combine the heavenly powers of theatre and its often magnificent architecture with the memory of "golden ages of theatre" and the many theatres lost to posterity by war, fire, or plain neglect.

Do you know more details? Have you spotted a mistake? Please send me an e-mail message! If you want to help, why not also have a look at Postcards I could not yet attribute.


Country: English name (local name in brackets)

State/Region/County etc.: local name of administrative division, in the UK: historic county

City: local name (former local names in brackets)

Location: borough, quarter, address etc. (former addresses in brackets)

Picture: details describing the picture on the card if not mentioned otherwise

Front/Reverse Text: text printed on cards, inscription, posters, signs: text featured in the picture itself, on buildings, posters, signs etc.

Handwritten Text: notes by senders, recipients or earlier collectors

Publisher: publisher and editorial information; reference numbers

Type: Divided Back/Undivided Back, Real Photo, Hold-to-Light, Advertisement, Moonlight, Reproduction etc.

Size: "Classic" (older cards of small size, also known as "standard size"; scan resolution: 100 dpi) or "Modern" (larger than older cards, but scanned at 75 dpi, hence the screen images appear to be smaller than those of "classic" cards!). For very small cards, very large cards, or any other items of unusual size, the size is given in centimetres.

Sent: "from" and "to" cities, year of postal use etc.
- or -
Not sent = not postally sent as a postcard (although it may have been used for private messages, or sent in an envelope).

Legal Issues:

License: This is a private site celebrating a passion for theatres and a passion for collecting postcards. The purpose of the gallery is to show my collection - it is entirely non-commercial. All texts and all public domain pictures on the site are published without any usage restrictions from my part. The copyright for any images that have not entered the public domain yet remains with the respective copyright holder.

Your copyright is infringed? Please send me an E-Mail message. If you authorize me to show the items on this site, I will add appropriate copyright/license information (and, if you wish, a link to your home page). If you choose to prohibit the exhibition, I will remove the images in question as soon as possible.

You want to re-use an image? Due to the low resolution of the scans, none of the images on the site are ready for being printed. Neither are they too useful for certain research purposes. If you want to use public domain images in publications or for your research, please send me an e-mail message. I will try to provide a better scan, free of charge. Copyrighted images can be scanned and e-mailed for research purposes, but naturally I cannot grant any permission to publish them.

Some images may contain political symbols that are illegal in some countries. See a note on Nazi postcards shown on this site.

Andreas Praefcke, 2001-2024. Responsible for contents on Andreas Praefcke, Stauferstrasse 34, 88214 Ravensburg, Germany.

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