The European Film Commission Network recently announced the unheralded town of Görlitz as the winner of the inaugural European Location Award, beating out several better-known towns across the continent. The likes of Dubrovnik, Vienna and Rome were recognised at the European Parliament ceremony, but ultimately lost out to Germany’s easternmost town.
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Görlitz (apparently also known as ‘Gorliwood‘) is situated 100km east of Dresden and sits on the German border with Poland. The reason for its recent success is no real surprise, with film fans desperately searching for the real-life locations used in Wes Anderson’s visually stunning hit movie The Grand Budapest Hotel to fill in for the fictional Republic of Zubrowka ever since the movie was released. That’s right, the film itself wasn’t filmed anywhere near Budapest…
Wes Anderson spent 40 days filming his award-winning movie in Görlitz in 2013.
‘The award is the crowning glory for our City and all contributing to the good reputation of Görlitz as Film Location. For us, this now is a huge incentive to be a high quality location for future productions, too’ said Siegfried Deinege, Mayor of Görlitz.
The town was left largely untouched during World War II and boasts over 500 years of historical architecture. Filming began in the 1950’s with the movie Der Ochse von Kulm and a steady stream of producers and filmmakers from around the world have since used Görlitz as the locations of their productions. Over 100 films have subsequently been made in the town, with the likes of New York, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Paris being recreated on the quaint streets of the German town.
Other Hollywood films shot in Görlitz include The Book Thief (2013), The Reader (2008), The Monuments Men (2014) and Around the World in 80 Days (2004).
The town itself is also great for visitors and tourists, with great plazas and squares as well a wide variety of hotels ranging from budget options to luxury dwellings. Given its proximity to Poland, just a short walk over a footbridge, Görlitz offers a unique variety of food and drink options too.
Here are some more pictures of the stunning German town that reinforce why it is officially the best filming location in Europe.