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Square in London. It is now the site of the Royal Opera House, home of the British national opera and ballet companies. The land around the site, once a convent garden, was laid out as a residential square in 1630. The original Covent Garden playhouse, called the Theatre Royal, was built in 1732 and served for performances of plays, pantomimes, and opera. Twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt, the theatre became the Royal Italian Opera House (1847) and was replaced by the Royal Opera Co. (1888). The square was also the site of a fruit, flower, and vegetable market from 1670 to 1974.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Covent Garden, visit Britannica.com.
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