Film tour in the style of the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Film tour in the style of the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

The movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel” directed by Wes Anderson was released in 2014 and loved by many . Beautiful visuals, interesting plot, intrigue, humor and wonderful cast left no one indifferent. The action in the film takes place in the imaginary city of Lutz in the country of Zubrowka. The shooting took place in Dresden and Görlitz. Following the main characters in the places where cinematic art was made, you can go on a film tour in the spirit of the film along the route:

  • Department Store in Görlitz
  • Bani Freisebad
  • The Stadthalle
  • The Pfund milk store

Department Store in Görlitz

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a non-existent building. What is shown in the scenes is a mock-up. The shots inside the hotel were filmed in the lobby of the Görlitz Department Store. It is a picturesque object in the central part of the settlement that was built with reference to Berlin’s Wertheim.

Department Store in Görlitz

The construction was guided by the European fashion for luxury – glass roof, grandiose staircases, a couple of floors, sparkling big chandeliers and a winter garden. When the Berlin Wall fell, the department store did not do well and the place went bankrupt in 2009. These days, the Görlitz store is in good shape. To see a picture in the spirit of the Wes Anderson Hotel – it’s worth looking at the interior through a pink prism.

Bani Freisebad

The narrator meets Zero Mustafa while taking a bath in the almost abandoned baths of Freizebad . It used to be a complex with therapeutic mud, salt and herbs. The local population loved spending time there, but poor funding contributed to the closure . After World War II, the thermae was reopened and a sauna shower was built there.

At the end of the 20th century the government of Görlitz closed Freisebad because of the state of disrepair . The baths became a monument of architecture. The abandoned structure attracts tourists with its gloomy atmosphere. Connoisseurs of Anderson’s work stroll through the eerie corridors, looking for the bathroom that Jude Law used to take. Photographers don’t pass by the picturesque facility either, the photo shoots there turn out great.

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Bani Freisebad

The Stadthalle

The owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel calls the narrator for dinner and talks about his exciting life. The restaurant where the characters ate is the Görlitz Concert Hall – Stadthalle .

The Palace of Culture was built at the beginning of the 20th century to host the Silesian Music Festival every year there. The grandiose building with straight facade lines and miniature sculptures perfectly fit the aesthetics of the film masterpiece. The Stadthalle can seat 2000 spectators and has a restaurant, a stage equipped with a full orchestra and a banqueting room. As well as the Freisebd thermae the Stadthalle hall was closed due to the poor state of repair and lack of funds. For the reconstruction of the thermae the civil fund raised 18 million euros.

The Stadthalle

The Pfund milk store

The young Zero visits Mendel’s confectionery where he meets the pastry chef Agatha, the love of his life. The magical beauty of the sweet shop is real and is located in Dresden.

Pfund’s confectionery originally sold only fresh dairy products. Paul Pfund originally set up the confectionery with the sole purpose of providing his town with the best milk. Then the Pfunds expanded production and began making cheese products, butter, cream and were the first to make condensed milk.

The Pfund store was built in 1891 and is still open and selling a variety of products today. The interior is styled like a dollhouse: Villeroy & Boch tiles painted by local artists on the walls, weighty lights on the high ceilings, and goodies lay beautifully on the counters. Today, Pfund’s shop has cheeses of all kinds, sweets, wine and more. The food is fresh, the quality is high and a nice bonus is the retro style packaging.

A movie tour based on the movie “The Grand Hotel Budapest” is a great opportunity to spend an interesting vacation. The tour will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson’s films, but may also be of interest to travelers not familiar with the director’s works. The unique beauty of Dresden and Görlitz is revealed in a completely different way on this tour.

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Film weekend in the style of the film The Grand Budapest Hotel: Görlitz and Dresden

The title of the film can lead travelers astray, because it was actually shot in completely different places

Movie wizard Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” saw the light of day in 2014 and instantly garnered applause, won four Oscars and became the best film of the year. The fantastical tale of life in a once-prestigious hotel between two world wars is full of intrigue, deception, chases and, of course, love. Dresden and the Saxon town of Görlitz acted as the fictional town of Lutz in the fictional country of Zubrowka, where the film takes place. “Kommersant Style” followed Monsieur Gustav and company to note a few places for a European weekend outing. Spoiler: there’s a recipe for a pastry from Mendl’s Pastry Shop at the end.

Still from “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” 2014

Photo: American Empirical Pictures, F

Still from “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” 2014

Photo: American Empirical Pictures, F

Görlitz

Görlitz Department Store.

Alas, the Grand Budapest Hotel does not really exist. The building we see in the frame with the mountains in the background is a skillfully made model inspired by several real hotels in Karlovy Vary and Budapest. But many scenes inside the hotel were filmed in the atrium of the Görlitz Department Store, which can still be visited today.

The Görlitz Department Store is a beautiful building in the center of the city, built in 1913 in the image and likeness of Berlin’s Wertheim Department Store. Several storeys, a glass roof, a winter garden, magnificent grand stairways and a grandiose chandelier – the Art Nouveau department store supported the European fashion for luxury retailing and became one of the main places in Görlitz. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Görlitz department store slowly declined and went bankrupt in 2009.

It was only in 2013 that entrepreneur Winfried Stecker bought the building in order to revive the department store and to this day actively seeks tenants and renovates the premises. Nevertheless, the department store is perfectly preserved and open to the public – you only have to look at the interior literally through rose-tinted glasses to see the Grand Budapest lobby.

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Where: An Der Frauenkirche 5-7

Bani Freisebad

The author meets the owner of the Grand Budapest, Zero Mustafa, while taking a bath. The noticeably shabby baths are the semi-abandoned baths of Freizebad. They played a large role in his choice of location, since Wes Anderson was looking for a spa town, and he even found thermal baths in Görlitz.

The baths were opened in 1887 by Dr. Walter Friese, after whom they were named. At that time it was a genuine spa complex with mud, salt and herbal baths, rasulom and a 15-metre swimming pool, in which even professional swimmers practised. However, despite its success and popularity among the locals, Dr. Freise’s project suffered losses, and the baths were repeatedly closed due to insufficient funding. After World War II, the complex was slightly revived, with a sauna, solarium and showers.

In 1996 the authorities of Görlitz finally closed Freisebad because of the emergency condition of the building. The city could not allocate the proper amount of money for repairs, and since 2009 Freisebad is an architectural monument. The abandonment of the building does not repel tourists, but rather attracts them with its eerie romance. Movie buffs wander the dark corridors in search of the bathtub where Jude Law bathed, and photographers make spectacular photo shoots in the interiors of the complex.

Where: Dr. Kahlbaum-Allee 22

Stadthalle Concert Hall

Zero Mustafa invites the author to dinner and tells the amazing story of how he became the owner of the Grand Budapest. The role of the restaurant hall was played by the Görlitz Palace of Culture – Stadthalle.

The elegant modernist building Stadthalle was built in 1910 for the annual Silesian music festival. The austere facade lines are organically complemented by graceful small sculptures and neat turrets, the building gives the impression of grandiosity and importance. The Stadthalle Concert Hall was designed for 2,000 visitors, its stages were equipped for orchestras and the organ, and the premises housed a restaurant and a banquet hall. In 2005, the Stadthalle, once Görlitz’s main center for art and culture, was closed due to disrepair and lack of funds.

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Like the Görlitz department store and the Freisebad baths, the Stadthalle has fallen on hard times and awaits revival. Civic activists have established a fund for donations that will be used to rebuild the Stadthalle. In June 2018, the state allocated €18 million for the reconstruction of the cultural monument, which should be completed by 2024.

Where: Postplatz 13

Dresden

Pfund Milk Shop.

Young Zero arrives at Mendl’s pastry shop, where he falls in love at first sight with Agatha, who creates delightful cakes. The fabulous store, recognized as the most beautiful in the world, really does exist and is located in Dresden.

The history of the Pfund Dairy dates back to 1879, when farmer Paul Pfund founded the family dairy in order to provide Dresden with fresh milk. Soon the Pfunds were producing butter, cream, cheese, and were also the first in the world to make condensed milk.

The company store of incredible beauty appeared on Bautzner Strasse in 1891 and is still open today. Its interior is reminiscent of an old doll’s house: the walls are lined with magnificent tiles by Villeroy & Boch, painted by Dresden artists, the high ceilings are decorated with heavy lamps, and the products are hidden in elegant cabinets. Today, Pfund’s Dairy Store offers fine cheeses, wine, candy, milk soap and even milk grappa. All products have retained not only the highest quality, but also charming retro packaging. By the way, taking pictures in the store is forbidden, so you can only capture this magical abode of delicacies in your memory.

Where: Bautzner Strasse 79 Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Zwinger

The Zwinger, one of Europe’s main museums, is located in the heart of Dresden and is the city’s trademark.

The Zwinger’s splendid baroque palace complex was erected in 1709 as a greenhouse for the cultivation of exotic plants. But soon after the Enlightenment, however, the purpose of the Zwinger changed – its halls were filled with works of art and science. Today the Zwinger houses a collection of porcelain, sculpture and the famous Dresden Picture Gallery, where paintings by Botticelli, Titian, Velázquez, Rubens and Raphael are exhibited, as well as symphonic concerts dedicated to specific paintings. After a tour of the gallery’s collections, you can take a stroll through the beautiful garden, listen to the wonderful ringing of the porcelain corillon and climb to the observation deck to see Dresden in all its glory.

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Despite the many restorations that the Zwinger has undergone, one inconspicuous Russian-language inscription from 1945 on the wall facing Theater Square remains intact: “Museum checked. No mines. Checked by Sergeant Hanutin.

Where: Theaterplatz 1 Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 06:00 to 20:00

Cribstein Castle

Monsieur Gustav is imprisoned for the murder of Madame Di. An impregnable fortress over a precipice, Kribstein Castle in the Saxon mountains is considered the most beautiful knightly castle.

The majestic Kribstein rises on a steep cliff above the river Chopau since the 15th century, and since then it has been beautifully preserved. High towers, tiny windows and beautiful scenery – here you can feel like a beautiful queen or a medieval knight. Hidden behind the rugged walls are atmospheric halls with candelabras, romantic attics, interior objects and mysterious portraits of the castle’s inhabitants.

Today Cribstein is a museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as a cultural center. The castle regularly organizes excursions and guided tours, where you can try on knight’s armor, practice archery and crossbow shooting and learn medieval dancing. In addition, Kribstein offers its halls for parties and even weddings. A true royal feast in a real castle in a picturesque landscape – why not?

Where: Kriebsteiner Str. 7 Opening time: April – October, Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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