The Matiinsky Theatre can trace its history as far as 1783, when a Decree on the establishment of a theatre committe “for performances and music” was published on 12 July and the Bolshoi Stone Theatre was opened on Carousel Square amid great pomp on 5 October. The theatre gave the square its new name – even today it is known as Theatre Square. In time, performances were transferred to Alexandrinsky Theatre (so-called Circus Theatre), which was located opposite th Bolshoi. When, in 1859, the Circus Theatre was destroyed by fire, a new theatre was built on the same site and was named the Mariinsky in honour of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II. The Bolshoi Theatre became the Conservatory Rimskogo-Korsakova.