The National Theatre is the prime stage of the Czech Republic. It is also one of the symbols of national identity and a part of the European cultural space, with a tradition spanning more than 130 years. It is the bearer of the national cultural heritage, as well as a space for free artistic creation. The theatre was opened in 1881. In the same year the theatre burned down, and this tragic event caused a huge wave of new collections to support the restoration of the theatre. The National Theatre was re-opened in 1883 by the opera Libuše by Bedřich Smetana and since then it has been serving as a place of Czech national identity and as a flagship of the Czech culture to these days.