Art & culture

Historic

Gotha’s glamorous history has been shaped by important personalities from various fields, such as politics, science or art and culture. They have made the city nationally and internationally famous through their extraordinary work or remarkable success and therefore influenced the ducal residence’s special status. You can find a small selection of personalities here.

Actor and director

Hans Conrad Dietrich Ekhof (1720-1778)

Conrad Ekhof was considered to be one of the best German actors in the 18th century ...

Conrad Ekhof was considered to be one of the best German actors in the 18th century. He came to Gotha in 1774 after a theatre fire in Weimar and founded the first German court theatre with a permanent ensemble of actors at today’s Ekhof theatre on 2 October 1775.

This work was followed by the foundation of the first German pension and death benefit fund for actors, which was exemplary for Europe for over a century. Up until his death, Conrad Ekhof had shaped a crucial period in the history of German theatre with his realistic performance style, which in fact influenced European theatre and made Gotha famous as the centre of German theatre life. He is called the “Father of German acting”.