Ring theatre fire

the ring theatre fire was one of the largest fire disasters 19. Century in the Austria Hungary at that time and found to 7. December 1881 in Vienna instead of. The number of victims becomes estimated on 448 dead ones.

At the time the second conception of Jacques of open brook of Hoffmann narrations took place in the ring theatre. The visitors took their places, while behind the stage with five cases the Gasbeleuchtung was ignited. By failure of the electro-pneumatic firing devices gas leaked out, which exploded with the next ignition attempt. The developing fire jumped over first on the folder courses, before it finally spread rapidly over the remainder of the stage and in the auditorium.

To save but only a half hour later tries the spectators. Fundamental problems were added. The emergency lighting, consisted those of oil lamps, have been filled there from shortage of money the lamps are not to have been burned only with examinations. In addition the emergency exits opened not outward, but inward. Thus the visitors could not leave the building any longer in time. A draft of air flowing in by a lateral window fachte the fire further on. The police held in the theatre before area rescuer with the reference that nobody could be saved anyway there more, from further rescue attempts. Under the dead ones was also Ladislaus Vetsera, a brother of Mary Vecera.

This fire had international effects on the preventing fire protection particularly within the theatre range. Thus for example the iron curtain was introduced for the separation of the stage from the auditorium and the decorations had to be impregnated starting from this time.

From embarrassment in the place from private means by emperor Franz Joseph the Sühnhaus in such a way specified was established. The rents furnished by this interest house flowed to karitativen purposes. The building was heavily damaged 1945 with end of war and had to be cleared away 1951. Today federal police headquarters stand on this area.

The process against the responsible persons of the fire was described literarily into the 1960er years by Helmut Qualtinger and Carl Merz under the title anatomy of a disaster. Filmed the text under the title of “everything was saved. The ring theatre process "


  • E. R. Förster, the amusing opera in Vienna, in: General construction journal 40 (1875)
  • the fire of the Viennese of ring theatre to 8. December 1881 and its victims, 1881
  • P. Cerny, the ring theatre fire omission? , Thesis, Vienna 1986

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