Many famous films are shot in Prague, but you will probably never realise this. Prague is often used as a shooting location because it’s cheaper to film in than other cities, and the architecture is often similar to what you’ll find in other countries in Europe. Directors head to Czechia’s capital even if the plan is to pretend the actors are somewhere else. We take a look at five films which do just that.
Mission Impossible (1996)
Mission Impossible was filmed in several locations, from London to Virginia to Scotland, but much of the movie—including many pivotal scenes—were set in Prague. Some Prague places actually stand-in for others. For example, the National Museum doubled as an embassy in the opening scene. There’s also a prominent scene of a very empty (rare in real life) Charles Bridge and shots filmed in Kampa Island and Wenceslas Square.
Casino Royale (2006)
Prague plays stand-in for many other locations in this movie. For example, scenes filmed outside the Ministry of Transport are actually supposed to be happening outside the Miami Airport. That scene where Bond walks down the stairs at the Vesper’s Hotel in Venice? It’s actually filmed inside Prague’s National Museum. There’s also an important meeting that happens right inside the famous Strahov Monastery.
The Underworld series might not be set in Prague, but a large number of scenes were filmed there. These include not only scenes filmed around and inside Prague Castle, but also street-chase scenes and indoor scenes shot in sets built from scratch inside Prague’s largest movie studio, Barrandov Studios. One of the most famous locations for the film, however, is actually outside Prague. The beautiful white castle that serves as the location for the Eastern Coven is Hluboká Castle, located about two hours outside of Prague.
The Illusionist (2006)
This movie about a magician (Edward Norton) and the woman he loves uses Prague as a stand-in for 19th-century Vienna. It is a very successful replacement, as many of Prague’s landmarks wouldn’t look out of place in Austria. Prague Castle plays a big role in the film, but so does the Divadlo na Vinohradech (a beautiful theater in the heart of Prague where Norton’s character performs). In addition, the film uses the town of Tábor and special locations in centuries-old Cesky Krumlov to showcase a mix of magnificent scenery.
The Oscar-winning film was filmed almost entirely in the Czech Republic, even though some of the scenes are supposed to take place in Vienna. Two notable examples are the scenes filmed in Old Town Square (which replaces 18th-century Vienna) and Mozart’s performances, which were all filmed at the Estates Theatre. The scenes that are supposed to take place at the Emperor’s Palace were actually filmed at the Archbishop’s Palace on Hradcanske square. There were also scenes filmed in many palaces and magnificent buildings around Prague, from the Kromeriz palace and its gardens to Maltese Square.