26. May 2023

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The location tour in the Ore Mountains took place on May 15 and 16, 2023, thanks to the Karlovy Vary Region Film Office in cooperation with the Czech Film Commission and the Destination Agency Erzgebirge, whose director and writer Štěpán Javůrek was our guide together with the director of the Živý kraj regional destination agency and film commissioner Petr Židlický.

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Photo: Czech Film Commission

"The region around Boží Dar, Jelení, Chaloupky and Králův mlýn or Königsmühle is unique, mystical and photogenic. It was a packed programme that showed diverse and well-hidden places that can tell powerful stories. For me as a storyteller, this location tour was very inspiring," described director and screenwriter Margareta Hrůza.


On the outskirts of the town with the lowest population in the Czech Republic (77 people), stand the reinforced concrete torsos of buildings that are part of the former Otto Mine. Since World War II, its remains have been gradually absorbed by the surrounding nature, creating a ghostly dystopian scenery. In the town itself, traditional half-timbered buildings from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved. The surrounding area is a natural park with a number of hiking and cycling trails.


Originally a mining settlement with a tradition of lace-making, it disappeared after the post-war displacement of the German population. Its existence is still evidenced by the terraced landscape with the ruins of the last few houses and the monument to the church destroyed in the 1950s when the village was in the forbidden border zone. The only surviving building is the so-called Villa, formerly used as a Ministry of Foreign Afairs holiday resort, now an adventure farm offering horse riding or alpaca walking.

Ledová and Vlčí jáma (Ice and Wolf Pit)

Not far from Blatenský hill is the legendary Ice Pit, 20 m deep, which was formed by the collapse of the medieval Jiří Mine. Its high rock walls keep it so cold that the snow does not melt here all year round. A little further on, the partial collapse of the ceilings of the neighbouring Wolfgang Mine created the 120 m long and 20 m deep Wolf Pit.

Červená jáma (The Red Pit)

A picturesque corner with a "hobbit" cottage is located near another large mine sinkhole, Červená jáma or the Red Pit. A wooden building with a grass-covered roof stands on the site of a former inn and offers refreshments to passers-by.

Ryžovna Brewery

The family-run brewery in the now-defunct village of Ryžovna continues the local brewing tradition in the former school building. Beer is brewed on the ground floor and the restaurant offers seating on the first floor with a spectacular view of the 4 cardinal points and the Erzgebirge forests.

Mrtvý rybník (Dead Pond)

From an asphalt road we turn onto a meadow path and after 300 m we follow the forest path past the stone building of the dike caretaker, after about 2 km we come to the pond with a surface coloured black by peat. It is set amidst coniferous forests and deserted countryside.

Zelený dům Hotel (Green House Hotel)

Historical references to the Green House date back to 1542, when Martin Luther spent the night here. The traditionalist-style rooms are dominated by wooden panelling and a coffered ceiling.

Červený vlk (Red Wolf) Brewery

The microbrewery opened in 2020 in a modern building that uses the latest technology while sensitively blending in with the local architecture. The restaurant on the ground floor offers views of Boží Dar town and the surrounding area thanks to large windows. The first floor area with its own bar and bathroom is reserved for private parties. In the basement, beer is brewed and there are storage rooms there.

Boží Dar Peat Bog

The nature reserve consists of peat bogs with spruce, stands of pine, dwarf birch, heath and meadows. There is a 2 km long trail through the peat bog, lined with educational signs.

Klínovec Hotel

On the highest peak of the Ore Mountains stands a hotel with a lookout tower and an 80-metre-high TV tower. The current octagonal brick tower is a replica of the original one from 1884. Construction of the hotel began in 1900, and 8 years later Emperor Franz Joseph I opened the Jubilee Exhibition of Erzgebirge Products here from a hall with a coffered ceiling made of stretched deerskin. Nothing reminds the dilapidated hotel of its former glory, but the genius loci remains. The owner of the closed complex is the town of Boží Dar.

Králův mlýn or Königsmühle (King's Mill)

The settlement disappeared after World War II, when the last 50 inhabitants, Sudeten Germans, were evicted. Since 2012, the ruins of the houses, surrounded by the beautiful nature of the mountain valley, have been revived by the activities of Königsmühle land and art setkání (Königsmühle land and art meeting) initiative, which organises educational, social and cultural events here. The settlement, accessible via a meadow from a path 400 m away, is located in the Horská louka u Háje nature reserve.

The Film Studio and Erzgebirge Pilgrim Club

Thanks to the new owner Petr Mikšíček, the building of the former fish cannery in the village of Kovářská has come to life in the form of a generous cultural centre that combines a film studio with event and accommodation facilities. The soundproofed film studio with greenscreen is 12 x 12 x 4 m, with a projection screen and a data projector, lights, tripods, costumes and props.

Radium Palace Hotel

The renovated historic spa building offers 150 rooms, 5 restaurants, lobby bar, concert hall, ballroom and lounges. Guests who come for spa treatments do not have to leave the building for their entire stay. They can have medical check-ups and spa treatments right in the hotel, including the traditional radon treatment, which consists of bathing in water enriched with the radioactive radon gas. It is transported to the hotel by a pipeline from a borehole 2.5 km away in the former Svornost Mine.

Adit No. 1 in Jáchymov

The 261-metre-long tunnel was dug in 1952 by prisoners from the nearby penal camp, where the steep so-called Stairs of Terror or Mauthausen Stairs lead from the mine. From the watchtower of the former camp you can see the whole town of Jáchymov.

Berghof Hotel

On a secluded spot on the outskirts of Jáchymov is a one-storey hotel with 16 rooms and a capacity of 42 beds, with its own restaurant and spacious parking. From the outside, the building surprises with its untypical facade. It used to house former quarters of miners.

Eduard complex

The sports complex surrounded by forests offers accommodation in the Eduard mountain chalet and space for various sports activities, including a shooting range and a lake with a cableway and a monkey track. Biathletes train on the asphalted track and shooting range in winter. A few more or less dilapidated buildings and a green heap reveal the connection between the site and a former mine.

Contact for filming in the Karlovy Vary Region:

Karlovy Vary Region Film Office, Petr Židlický (zidlicky@zivykraj.cz, +420 736 650 129)

The mission of regional film offices is to attract audiovisual projects to their regions and to be a reliable source of information for Czech producers.

One of the main tools to draw filmmakers’ attention to the region’s film-friendly locations is the location tour, which is organized for Czech film professionals, from producers and location managers to directors, writers, cinematographers and film architects, by the regional film office in cooperation with the Czech Film Commission.

A representative of the regional film office connects filmmakers with property managers and owners. A location tour is often the first step towards further inspections for a specific audiovisual work in pre-production.

A photographer specializing in architecture, landscape, and location photography is on hand on the location tour. The resulting photographs are then used to promote the film-friendly locations both by the regional film office and the Czech Film Commission for promotional activities aimed at foreign filmmakers and are actively offered when specific requests from abroad are received.