Prague - Hradčany Square
The paving on Hradčany Square is shined by millions of soles of tourists, state visits and the regular changing of the guards. The place that has witnessed important transformations of Czech history regularly accords its grandeur to both Czech and international film productions.
You can spot Hradčany from about anywhere in the historical centre, but there's no comparing to experiencing the neighbourhood in person. You can walk up Nerudova Street, walk over Hradčany Square and pass by the alert handsome guards. It's best to enter the seat of Czech Statehood through the main gateway, which is also guarded by two majestic Battling Giants (Titans).
In the film The Illusionist, the Gate of the Giants was the entrance into Hofburg - the official Vienna seat of the Austro-Hungarian monarch. All it took was changing the guards' uniforms and park horse carriages around, and the image was perfect. After hundreds of years, Prague has once again become the head of the monarchy. Only in the film, naturally. Hradčany Square often offers spectacular views, not merely in front of the gate to the Prague Castle. One of the scenes shot here was the one in which the conjurer bids farewell to his love Sophie, before performing the biggest trick of his life.
The square has not only witnessed romantic film moments, but also ones of malice and violence. In the series The Scarlet Pimpernel, one scene shows an outraged crowd destroying statues in front of the Palace of Justice. The office of Maximilian Robespierre was represented by Salmovský Palace. Another dramatic moment of French history, which Hradčany Square bore witness to, was General Lamarque's funeral, during which the July Revolution in Paris erupted. A part of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables was based on the event, as well as the film adaptation with Czech co-production starring Liam Neeson. With the help of the post-production works, the scene then shows the Notre Dame instead of the St. Vitus' Cathedral in the background. A more current image of the square was shown in the film Bad Company, starring Anthony Hopkins.