Sarrasani played Dresden several times. He really like the free space next to the Jägerhof in Dresden Neustad where long before in 1746 the Hetz-Amphitheater stood.
After Stosch-Sarrasanis attempts to build a stationary circus had failed in other cities such as Berlin, he oriented himself to the site in Dresden-Neustadt and found at the city fathers Dresden’s great concessions. On May 27, 1910, the municipality of Dresden sold this meanwhile extended “building block approximately 5632 square meters in size for the price of 80 (eighty) Mark – Pf for the m² [to Hans Stosch – Sarrasani sen. (Hans Erdmann Franz Stosch) with the order] to build in the same year from the handing over of the land to a massive circus, which corresponds in the interior of all modern claims and in its external design higher architectural claims typical of the city and with the construction of the circus building still to begin in 1910 and to provide this circus permanently except for circus performances also for large gatherings, musical performances and other events against payment … “(from §1 and §7 of the sales contract.) )
The building was designed by the Munich-based architect Max Littmann, originally from Chemnitz and known as theater specialist, and executed by the Heilmann & Littmann construction company. Construction began in May 1911, involving more than 20 companies. Although some disagreements between the two opponents Stosch and Renz delayed the work, the construction work on the circus Sarrasani on 19 September 1912 was successfully completed. In the same year Stosch-Sarrasani officially was no longer an inhabitant of Radebeul, but he remained connected to the city throughout his life. So he honored the writer Karl May at his tomb and visited with his circus Indians the Karl May Museum.
On December 22, 1912, the “Circus Theater 5000” at Queen Carola Square was inaugurated as the first permanent circus building in Europe with a grandiose charity event in the presence of the royal family. The building housed 3860 people, according to police records. “The opening of the circus Sarrasani was the sensation of this fourth Advent for the local social circles. What Sarrasani gave the city of Dresden, we experienced yesterday; the coming weeks will show what the city of Dresden Sarrasani has to give. “(Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 1912)
After the death of Sarrasani sr. his son took over. He created a second unit by splitting the circus in two the circus: While a Sarrasani company was playing in Germany, a second traveled under the direction of his wife Trude Stosch-Sarrasani, supported by Fritz Mey, through Argentina. He reduced staff, animals and artists. In 1938 he bought the Radebeuler Villa Neufriedstein 1 as a residence and “rest home for deserving Sarrasani artists”. From 1940 his company was known as the “Sächsischer Heimatzirkus”. In 1941 Hans Stosch-Sarrasani Jr. died. during a Berlin guest performance. After Sarrasani no longer played the building himself, tenants and producers replaced each other. Often it remained unused. On 13 February 1945, the Sarrasani Theater was destroyed by the air raids on Dresden and was not rebuilt after.
According to the land register entries, Hans Stosch was the sole owner of the property from 1910 and the building from 1913, his son and thereafter the wife of the junior, Trude Stosch-Sarrasani, became owners and the property remained family property. Because the heirs had not claimed back the land in 1945, it came into trusteeship of the state. Until then, it was speculated about a new construction as a circus. In 1970 it was converted into public property and used for new housing construction.
The Sarrasani Fountain at Carolaplatz commemorates the ruined Sarrasani Theater.
Sarrasani Bau Architecture
The house, which was “enclosed by the King Albert Street, Villierstrasse, Beaumont Square, Briestraße and Queen Carola Square” (from the purchase contract), was at that time Europe’s most modern circus. “Its centerpiece was the freely stretched dome space with a diameter of 46.50 m and a clear height of 28.95 m […] its total height was 35.75 m […] the manege received the standard dimensions of 13.20 m in the Diameter, it could be lowered and filled with water; the stage reached a height of 17.15 m and was completed with an asbestos curtain. “(quoted from Ernst Günther: Sarrasani, as he really was)
When using the building materials Stosch saved at any point. The building was considered the most fire-safe far and wide, so that it was not uncommonly the target of excursions by builders and fire departments. […] All iron substructures of the ranks, lodges and galleries were clad fireproof from below. Some components and the stables were carried out in solid brick, the main stairs, as well as the ceilings of basement and ground floor in reinforced concrete. Ranks, lodges, parquet, gallery got their own independent staircases that led to the open (the gallery alone eight!). In addition, a danger point indicator, 42 push button detectors and 22 temperature detectors were installed, which automatically reports a fire to the city’s main fire station. “(Quoted from Ernst Günther: Sarrasani, as he really was) However, the intervention of external helpers was not always necessary because in the building own fire station, police and medical station was. Firefighter Paul Grossmann, who was employed in the fire station next door, said that “this building is a training example for us”. All firefighters of this guard received as a small bonus reduced entrance fees.
The exact capacity of the auditorium has not yet been clarified, as Sarrasani spoke of the “Theater of the 5000”, but the documents of the building police 3860 gave (840 parquet and lodges, 920 in the first and 512 in the second and 1588 in the gallery). The assumption that this number could be achieved by “stuffing” was not considered probable, since Stosch was very concerned about safety and besides, one would never have been able to “squeeze in” more than 1000 spectators. Presumably the number 5000 mentioned by Stosch was only a wish number.
Furthermore, the building contained a restaurant with artist’s block, staff quarters, a cellar restaurant and three buffets for break time. There was also a salon that remained open all night, showing a cabaret program and containing an American bar.
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