1. October 2020

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In early September, we went on a location tour with the Central Bohemian Film Office and realized that little-known locations for filmmakers could still be found there. As the photo gallery shows, we found a surprising number of places, many of which are within an hour's drive of Prague.

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Soutice | Photo: Czech Film Commission

First we visited to the chateau in the village of Soutice, where we were greeted by a morning mist completing the mysterious atmosphere of the place. Singer Ema Destinnová spent the summer several times in the chateau, situated in a complex surrounded by outbuildings. The ancient gazebo in the middle is the first thing that catches the eye. On closer inspection, however, you’ll also find a spacious barn, a farm building with interesting columns, and a vacant apartment. Opposite the entrance gate, there is an old unrenovated house that filmmakers can use.

From Soutice we headed to Borovsko, where we visited the small white consecrated church of St. Peter and Paul and the adjacent bell. The church was built in the middle of the 14th century, and the bell tower dates to the late 15th century. They are surrounded by forest at the end of the road from the village. Not only the interior interesting, but also the adjacent cemetery. Not far from here, near the village of Keblov, we took a picture of a stone viaduct arching over a reservoir. The railway line was closed here in the 1970s, but the bridge remained.

Then our bus full of filmmakers headed for Bělá pod Bezdězem. We stopped at the local paper mills, where we visited an industrial area built in the first half of the 20th century, an empty administrative building with a gatehouse from the communist era, a hall with Art Nouveau columns, and an empty and demolished part of the complex that is simply screaming to be used in an apocalyptic film.

But that’s not all there is in Bělá pod Bezdězem. The caretaker showed us the local chateau, which offers an interesting exterior with galleries, and the chapel of St. Joseph dating back to 1629. The chateau has the unusual shape of an irregular pentagon with a thirty-meter tower. Much of the interior was converted into apartments, and apart from a few rooms where the museum is located, it is empty.

In the Klášter Brewery in Hradiště nad Jizerou, we admired the corridors seemingly custom-made for filming prison scenes and the tiled underground spaces where the beer vats are located. Only a gate remains of the former monastery from the 12th century. The current buildings were built less than 150 years ago and beer is still brewed here today - which makes the brewery an ideal movie location!

The former monastery complex from the turn of the 18th century in Mnichovo Hradiště serves as a social-therapeutic workshop for the mentally ill and also offers accommodation to the general public. The peace and quiet during the tour of the area was a pleasant change from the constant hustle and bustle of today's busy world. Upon agreement, filmmakers can use two courtyards connected by a passageway and a barn.

At the baroque chapel of St. Stafin in the woods by the Jizera River, we refreshed ourselves with water from a healing spring directly under the chapel. It was built in the first half of the 18th century at the expense of Maria Margaret Countess of Waldstein as a thank you for healing a member of the family with the spring water. The building is located on a stone terrace with three pillars and has an unusual burgundy color.

Finally, we had just enough time to take a look at the former military dormitory in Vrchbělá. Its best years are behind it, but the recently vacated blocks of flats could be of interest for filmmakers.

Martina Kuncová from the Central Bohemian Film Office is glad that she was able to offer filmmakers little-known locations: "We often hear from filmmakers that the Central Bohemian Region doesn't have anything new to offer, that they've already seen all there is to see here. I'm glad we were able to prove them otherwise. It takes a bit more work, but there are still forgotten places that haven’t made their way in front of the cameras, places which can enchant and stimulate the filmmaker's imagination."

Marek Černoch from the Central Bohemian Film Office can advise you on filming in the region: marek.cernoch@sccr.cz, +420 777 946 902.