Top 5 film locations in the Czech Republic
During the last two decades, the Czech Republic has proved to be a useful location to many international film productions. It is a country with an esteemed film history, a robust local film culture and a good selection of scenery. Film commissioner Denisa Strbova outlines her top 5 locations for KFTV.
The Baroque library of the Strahov Monastery is one of Prague's most filmed-in locations. It plays the House of Lords in Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green and Judi Dench. It appears as the Vatican in The Omen, starring Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles. It stands in for a British museum in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Sean Connery, and a British library in From Hell, starring Johnny Depp. And it appears as a Danish library and the Danish parliament in The Prince and Me.
The city of Ostrava and the surrounding area is often called “the steel heart of the Czech Republic” because of its long history of mining and industry. But the region also has significant potential for filmmakers, who are only slowly discovering what Ostrava has to offer. Ostrava appeared in the 2008 sci-fi film Babylon, A.D., starring Vin Diesel. A residential quarter built in the Socialist-Realist style, Poruba doubles as Moscow in the film. Babylon also shot at Ostrava’s famous Vítkovice steelworks.
The extraordinary diversity of the landscape with characteristic sandstone rock towns, lakes, beautiful castles and chateaux make Bohemian Paradise a film paradise as well. Among foreign productions choosing this extraordinary region for their film is Van Helsing, with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, Hellboy with Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, Mission Impossible IV – Ghost Protocol with Tom Cruise, The Brothers Grimm and recently The Last Knights with Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, which is still in production.
The medieval Krivoklat castle is one of the oldest and most important castles of the Czech princes and kings. Also thanks to its unique huge hall - ideal for filming a big royal ball - it is a favorite Czech fairy tale film location. However, Krivoklat hosted some Hollywood productions as well, for example Wanted with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy or The Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.
Danube House situated on the bank of river Vltava in Prague is an impressive modern building resembling a huge ship. Casino Royale opens with a black-and-white sequence set at the Danube House, where Bond makes his second confirmed kill and becomes a Double-0 agent. The same building's lobby played an airport terminal in The Omen and, in Missing, the offices of the French Secret Service.