When you visit Prague, you’ll recognize the backdrop of many popular movies. Ron Perlman of Hellboy and Blade II, both of which were shot in Prague, credits the abandoned warehouses left behind by communist leaders. The fact that a castoff old factory building in Prague costs the studio significantly less than, say, a movie studio in Los Angeles, definitely contributes to the city’s appeal. But Prague also offers something that can’t be found anywhere else: an old-world quality kept intact by the narrow, still-cobbled streets and impeccably restored facades – a bustling Prague street can be transformed into one of eighteenth century London almost instantly.
Whether the city is playing itself or another, there are some locations that arise over and over again on screen. Perhaps the most prolific actor has been the National Museum, which has played supporting roles in various films, including From Hell, Eurotrip, Casino Royale and The Omen. The U.S. Embassy was portrayed by the National Museum in Mission: Impossible, but the role went to a different actor in the Bourne Identity, the striking Boscolo Hotel Carlo IV.
Strahov Monastery has made it onto the silver screen in such films as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell and Casino Royale. The Estates Theater appears in Amadeus when Mozart conducts ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ in the lavish building. As a matter of fact, the background scenes of eighteenth century Vienna were actually shots of Old Town and Hradcany, the Castle District.
Prague isn’t the only city in the Czech Republic that gets attention from movie studios. Les Miserables, Shanghai Knights, and The Brothers Grimm were all filmed at least partially in Kutná Hora. This Bohemian town, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is the location of the sublimely disconcerting Sedlec Ossuary or “Bone Church.”