7x: From fantasy to drama films in the Czech Republic

Now that we have been captured at home by Covid19, we are able, thanks to beautiful images and fascinating stories, to bring a little bit of the beauty of the world to us. Now that we have been captured at home by Covid19, we are able, thanks to beautiful images and fascinating stories, to bring a little bit of the beauty of the world to us. And the great thing is: in a while you’ll know exactly where to find those beautiful locations yourself.

Text: Czech Tourism Benelux/ Angelique van Os

Fragment from The Letter for the King | Photo: Cinemaholic

1. The Letter for the King

This popular Netflix series has just been released. The adventure story is based on the famous children’s book, Brief voor de Koning, from 1962 by the Dutch writer Tonke Dragt. The Letter for the King was recorded in New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The latter was chosen because of the many historical locations, but the beautiful nature is also central. The exciting series is about knight in spé, Tiuri, who is given the task of delivering an extremely important letter to the King. Dagonaut Castle, where the family of Tiuri lives, is located at Castle Kost in northern Bohemia. The fortified town of Dagonaut is inspired by Castle Bouzov, which is located in Moravia. Bouzov has served as the backdrop for several films, from Czech fairy tale films to television series such as Fantaghirò or The Young Indiana Jones. The original red roof of Bouzov Castle has been changed to bluegrey for the series. Pernštejn Castle in Southern Moravia also served as a film location for The Letter for the King. The chateau is located on a rock above the town of Nedvědice. In Central Bohemia several shots were made in the woods and the Prachov rocks in Bohemian Paradise was the perfect location for an exciting final scene.

Bouzov Castle | Photo: Libor Svacek

2. Carnival Row

The brand new American television series Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, is about a world where fantasy creatures and people struggle to live together. To create the ‘adult fairy tale’, many sets have been built in the Barrandov film studio in Prague. In addition, the streetscape of the metropolis has regularly served as a backdrop. The Rudolfinum was the film set for the exhibition and the auction of Treasures of Tirnanoc and the Royal Summer Palacein Prague served as a film set. This Renaissance palace is located near the Prague Castle and was built out of love by Ferdinand I for Queen Anna of Bohemia. Outside the Czech capital, Carnival Row was also filmed, such as in Frýdlant Castle, Liberec’s train station and the abandoned chateau Krnsko which is located between Prague and Liberec. The Prachov rocks in Bohemian Paradise functioned as a landscape for the Tirnanese Highlands of the series. Unfortunately, the recordings for season two have been temporarily suspended due to the corona virus.

Frydlant Castle | Photo: Libor Svacek

3. Casino Royale

Kar lovy Varyis a famous Czech spa and was an important film location for the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig. Many scenes that took place in Montenegro were actually shot in the Czech Republic, including in the Prague film studio Barrandov. The famous Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary was transformed into Hotel Splendide in Montenegro. In addition to Karlovy Vary, films were shot in other places in the Czech Republic, such as Loket, Planá and Prague. The building of the Prague Ministry of Transport served as the location for the Miami Body Worlds exhibition. Filming also took place in the National Museum, Strahov Monastery and Prague Ruzyně Airport.

Grandhotel Pupp | Photo: Ladislav Renner

4. Chronicles of Narnia

De dromerige landschappen van het The dreamy landscapes of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, with its famous rock bridge Pravčická brána, were the perfect location to record the first part of the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The 2006 film is about four children discovering a fantasy world in a closet. Filming was also done in other places in the nature reserve, such as at the Tisá rocks. Next to Bohemian Switzerland, the rock town AdršpachTepliceserved as a film location. Adršpach, located near the border of Poland, is a labyrinth with impressive gorges and bizarre rock formations. The Gothic stone gate is one of the places where the film was shot.

5. Amadeus

The castles and palaces in the Czech Republic are loved by many foreign film crews. Originally they are so authentic and old that they are perfect for costume dramas set in the 18th or 19th century. For the classic Amadeus, the archbishop’s palace of Kroměříž was already filmed in 1984. The Baroque chateau and gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. . The film about the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was directed by the Czech Miloš Forman and won eight Oscars. In addition to Kroměříž, the film was also filmed in old parts of Prague, such as in several streets of Míšeňská. The gardens of Wallenstein served as the venue for the openair concert and the State Theatre in Prague presented the opera house in Vienna.

6. The Illusionist

Tabor | Photo: Ladislav Renner J

ust like Amadeus, The Illusionist (2006) is set in Austria, but was mainly filmed in the Czech Republic. The American drama film is about the illusionist Eisenheim, played by wellknown actor Edward Norton. He falls in love with the crown prince’s wife. The scenes in Vienna were shot in Prague and the town of Tábor. The historic centre of Tábor forms a labyrinth of medieval streets and monumental city walls, making it a perfect location for historical films. The old town of ČeskýKrumlov with its imposing castle in Renaissance and Baroque style was also used as a film setting. The city had to represent the birthplace of the main actor Eisenheim. KonopištěCastle in Central Bohemia was chosen as the film location for the crown prince’s castle. A special location because Konopiště was actually the seat of the Archduke of AustriaHungary. In Prague the Vinohrady theatre was used several times as a filming location. In the luxury restaurant Imperial the recording was done where Eisenheim’s manager read the reviews about his show.

Český Krumlov | Photo Libor Svacek

7. Anthropoid

Anthropoid (2016) was filmed in the Czech Republic, and is actually taking place there. It is a film adaptation of the true story about the attack in 1942 on Reinhard Heydrich, the German Nazi leader of Bohemia and Moravia. The film with famous actors like Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan is set at various historical locations in Prague and at Barrandov Studios. One of the most important locations are Saint Cyrillus and Saint Methododiusker, the places where resistance fighters were hiding. Nowadays it is a memorial. The world premiere of Anthropoid took place during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

More information: filmcommission.cz | czechtourism.comczechtourism.com

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