Following a long process of redesigns and delays, the new National Theatre (Nemzeti Színház) finally opened its gate in 2002 by the Danube, at the Pest-side bridgehead of Rákóczi Bridge. According to the original plans, it was supposed to stand in a more central location (by Erzsébet Square), but in understanding of a later decision, it was realized as a part of a culture district named Millennial Culture Centre in the South Pest. The National Theatre was the first element of this project, followed by the Palace of Arts (a.k.a MüPa) in 2005. The theatre is divided into three sections. The building stands in a huge park and sculpture garden, which evoke the history of Hungarian theatre. The park is shaped like a river boat, and hosts a wide range of open-air events in the summer. The building and its open-air stage together exceed the size of 21 000 square metres, making the complex the largest theatre of the capital.
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