Bavarian way of life May 13, 2015

Stunning backdrops for great weekend trips – film venues in Bavaria

Be it regional crime dramas or large international film productions, Bavaria's cities and rural landscapes have served as a backdrop for countless films and television programmes. A visit to original settings and shooting locations is a must for film fans. After all, it gives them a chance to immerse themselves in the stories once again and find out interesting facts about how the films were made.

The first port of call for film fans and a great day out for all the family is the Bavaria Filmstadt in southern Munich – home to one of Europe's largest film studios. The site runs to around 300,000 square metres and is responsible for numerous popular German television productions (e.g. “Tatort”, “Sturm der Liebe”, Inga Lindström films) as well as for international film productions such as “Perfume”, “Downfall” and “Big Game”. The guided tours take visitors to some of the original sets from past productions, such as the 55 metre long model of a submarine used in Wolfgang Petersen's “Das Boot”. Guests can also put their acting talents to the test at the film studios, with tours offering the chance to re-enact famous film scenes, such as from “The NeverEnding Story”. Those who are not so talented can at least try their hand at sitting in front of a green screen to read the weather forecast from an autocue to see themselves on the television.

Even heading away from the film capital of Munich, visitors can view filming locations and trace the steps of their film heroes throughout Bavaria. Fans of Bavarian crime dramas, for example, can roam through the little town of Bad Tölz on the River Isar, tracing the tracks of Benno Berghammer (alias Ottfried Fischer), the "Bullen von Tölz". A small flyer available from the Tourist Information office is the best way to guide visitors around the most important filming locations from the series.

Those who want to see more can then take a detour to Erlebnisbauernhof Michael Huber (hands-on farm), 30km away in Oberlaus. The farm was used as the location for a school trip in the German comedy film "Fack ju Göthe". A visit to the farm is particularly good for children, offering the chance to experience life on a farm first-hand, join in the feed harvest or take a carriage ride.

Hollywood in Bavaria

There is a real sense of Hollywood in Bamberg, where "The Three Musketeers" was filmed with stars including Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom. The film was made at various original locations in Bavaria (not only Bamberg, but also Munich, Würzburg, Burghausen and the island of Herrenchiemsee) and is considered one of the most elaborate on-location productions ever made in Europe. In the film, however, the historic old town of Bamberg serves as 17th Century Paris. The big action scene, for example, in which D’Artagnan and the three musketeers fight off a much higher number of guards, was filmed in the Alte Hofhaltung. Bamberg's Old Town Hall is also seen several times in the film.

Fans of the German Kommissar Kluftinger series of crime dramas can follow the trail of the cult detective at the locations of the films and novels in the Allgäu. In the summer season, visitors can take various tours and guided walks to the filming locations and immerse themselves in the world of the maverick inspector. A hike from Füssen to the isolated Alatsee lake, which features in the crime thriller “Seegrund”, is especially recommended. Torchlit evening tours to the lake are a particularly atmospheric experience.

Incidentally, Bavaria's most famous film backdrop and a symbol of the state itself is also just a stone's throw from Füssen. Neuschwanstein castle has served as a backdrop in countless films; the fairy-tale castle has featured in three films about its builder, Bavarian King Ludwig II, alone.

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