1. June 2021

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On the prehistoric Amber Trail lies one of the largest castles in the Czech Republic, exceptional in its layout and strong genius loci. Ludwig van Beethoven lived and composed in Hradec nad Moravici for three months, and the piano on which the composer played is still here. The castle is the only one in the surrounding area with its original furnishings and interiors laid out as they were captured in the photographs of the then owner, Prince Lichnovsky, in 1902.

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Photo: Czech Film Commission

Diverse locations in one place

The castle offers filmmakers multiple diverse locations in one place. It is located on a rocky promontory with steep slopes, surrounded by the Moravice River to the west and the Hradecna stream to the east. Hanka Vitkova from the Moravian-Silesian Film Office points out that the complex consists of "two different castles, which are separated not only by several centuries, but also by the reason for their construction.“ The complex also features a 140-hectare English park inspired by landscaping at the German castle of Bad Muskau.

The Classicist-style White Castle, with its pseudo-Gothic White Tower on one side, and the neo-Gothic Red Castle with its Clock Tower, from which there is a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape, are situated opposite each other.

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Photo: Moravian-Silesian Film Office

Electricity on site, accommodation nearby

Castle caretaker Radomir Pribyla, who has devoted his inexhaustible energy to the complex for over 30 years - the current appearance of Hradec nad Moravici is his great merit - is ready and willing to assist filmmakers.

Electricity connections and drinking water are both available at the complex. There are two parking lots with a total capacity of 90 parking spaces. Catering and accommodation for crew members is possible in the immediate vicinity of the castle - the Belaria and Sonata hotels can accommodate a total of about 150 people, and other options are available in Opava, 15 km away.

White Castle and the White Tower

The White Castle has a rectangular floor plan and is the main residential building. Here you’ll find a formal dining room, a smoking room, a billiards hall, a Roccoco ladies’ salon, and reading room with library halls, as well as the interiors of the Lichnovsky princes’ apartment: the ladies’ boudoir, toilet room, princess’ bedroom, study, the Beethoven Memorial Music Salon, and small and large ballrooms.

On the ground floor are the rooms of the guest suite, reception hunting salon, the castle chapel with sacristy, and the coat of arms hall. The courtyard is closed on all four sides by the White Castle and is divided in half by the ocher-colored arcade corridor with 5 arches and a covered first floor.

Behind the castle stands the White Tower and in front of it, an observation deck. There are currently exhibition spaces in the White Tower.

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Photo: Moravian-Silesian Film Office/Martin Friedel

Unique original furnishings

At the beginning of this year, the nearly complete original decor, including furniture, decorations, dishes, clothing, historical and art collections, and books, were returned to the castle. The spaces were laid out according to photographs taken by Prince Lichnovsky in 1902, returning the interior of the castle to its original form.

In addition, Hradec nad Moravici is home to the largest chateau collection of Asian art in the Czech Republic and a significant collection of modern art. Exceptional pieces of the collections include a samurai armament or Oskar Kokoschka portrait.

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Photo: Czech Film Commission

Red Castle

The Red Castle, so called because of the terracotta-colored masonry, has an impressive entrance gate and was built in the second half of the 19th century as a complex of stables for English thoroughbreds and a shed for chariots and carriages. With the construction of the Red Castle, the castle’s area was doubled. 

From 2017–2019 the Red Castle underwent a sensitive comprehensive reconstruction, which successfully preserved its historical qualities. The original gutters and well are preserved in the vaulted two-aisle Lower Stables. In the square inner courtyard, closed by the northern and eastern wings of the Red Castle and on 2 sides by the fortification walls, there is granite paving and a ”hidden water”  fountain.

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Photo: Czech Film Commission

Genius loci, celebrities and filmmakers

Hradec nad Moravici has strong distinctive charm. Numerous painters, writers and composers of music visited the castle in the past - in addition to Ludwig van Beethoven, Ferenc Liszt visited with his daughter Cosima Wagner; other guests included Josef Manes, Gerhart Hauptmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Karl Kraus.

In 2008 Hradec nad Moravici won the title of the “Most Fairytale-Like” Castle in the Czech Republic. Castle caretaker Radomir Pribyla confirms: "Filmmakers are always excited by the castle grounds.”  He also summed up the local filming experience: "In 1993, director Vlasta Janeckova shot the television film Dick Whittington here. Four years later, Zdenek Zelenka shot the three-part television film Arrowsmith based on a screenplay by Jiri Hubac in Hradec nad Moravici. In 2017, Jiri Strach filmed part of the crime series Labyrinth here. And at Christmas 2019, viewers could see the Red Castle as Egon's residence in the Christmas fairy tale The Princess and the Half Kingdom, directed by Karel Janak."

The advantage of the castle is that it offers multiple diverse locations in one place, high-quality technical facilities, and options for catering and accommodation in the immediate vicinity. Come for location scouting.

Contact for filming in the Moravian-Silesian Region:

Moravian-Silesian Film Office, Hanka Vítková (film@mstourism.cz, 420 734 766 746)