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Welcome to the Fairy Tale: The Jelenia Góra Basin

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Szymon Gruszecki, Graffiti Films CEO shares why this region in Poland if probably the most magical filming location

Welcome to the Fairy Tale: The Jelenia Góra Basin

Stanisław Pawłowski

Once upon a time, there was a knight who went hunting. He was galloping through a charming valley, surrounded by picturesque fields and meadows, wild forests, and mountains. Suddenly, he spotted a beautiful, majestic deer standing on the top of a hill. The view was breath-taking, and the knight was mesmerised by it. He decided to build a castle town there. The knight named the town after the glorious deer standing on the hill – thus the name Jelenia Góra (deer’s mountain).

After centuries of development and turbulent history, Jelenia Góra still remains a thriving and modern town. Anyone who has been there, even once, will admit that the spirit of the majestic deer and the wildness of nature are still present. And it’s strong.

The Jelenia Góra Basin should be on the bucket list of destinations of every filmmaker. This place is like a huge film location set with a variety of historical and architectural styles. Jelenia Góra itself is a fantastic location, whenever you need to explore and film landscapes – hills, mountains, forests, waterfalls etc.

Stanisław Pawłowski

According to historians, in the 13th century Jelenia Góra was a fine castle town. If you’re looking for medieval locations, we can highly recommend the Ducal Tower in Siedlęcin. It is the largest and best-preserved medieval residential tower in Poland. The interesting fact is that you can see (or film) there the only paintings in the world with the legend of Sir Lancelot from the Lake.

Stanisław Pawłowski

Throughout the following centuries, the town had many ups and downs, including famine, drought, flood, plague and even an earthquake. It survived the Thirty Years’ War. In the 18th century, Jelenia Góra was seized and became a part of Prussia. For Poles who lived there it was a terrible change, but the town itself grew and developed well. It was at the time, when beautiful gardens, parks, fountains, conservatories, and tea houses were built in Jelenia Góra. The town saw a rapid development of trade, industry, education and culture. Jelenia Góra gained a market square with a town hall, which we can still admire. The architecture there is typically Prussian. Sometimes on buildings – mansions and tenements – we can see inspirations taken from the countries of the Western Europe. This is especially interesting when you’re looking for a place which resembles Germany, The Czech Republic or even Italy… if not more.

Town Hall of Jelenia Góra

If you’re looking for a chapel, a church, or a cathedral for a wedding scene of wedding or maybe you’re planning on shooting a thriller like “Angels and Demons”, Jelenia Góra offers some of the most unique and amazing venues from different periods and styles.

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

An interesting fact is that one of the districts of Jelenia Góra, i.e. Cieplice Zdrój is one of the oldest Polish health resorts.  It is a beautiful, quiet, and peaceful place with rich history and jewels of architecture.

Town Hall of Jelenia Góra

Have you ever heard about The Valley of Palaces and Gardens? Sounds magical, doesn’t it? It is a small region in Lower Silesia, where you can find around 30 venues such as medieval towers and castles, renaissance manors and baroque palaces. This region is the Jelenia Góra Basin.

Karpniki Castle

Karpniki Castle

Nowadays, the town still preserves its heritage but it doesn’t slow down on its way to become  a modern and  meaningful part of the Lower Silesia region and of Poland. There are  proper  industrial sites – plants, factories and  workshops, institutions of culture and tourism – theatres, cinemas, clubs, restaurants, museums, hotels as well as residential and public areas  – modern districts of houses, blocks of flats, malls, shops, supermarkets, schools, playgrounds, gyms, etc.

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

You’ve heard the story of Jelenia Góra, you’ve seen some perfect filming locations but let’s move on. It’s time to go deep and get lost in the magical forests of the Jelenia Góra Basin. They are surrounded by four mountain ranges. No matter what direction we chose, we’ll be exploring acres of mysterious woods which look like a home of elves and fairies on a sunny day and like a haunted, gloomy horror location on a rainy/foggy one. From time to time you will surely pass by a fabulous lake or a river. If you have a good guide, he can show you hidden and forgotten ruins, spectacularly shaped rocks, rustle waterfalls and dark caves, so you can feel like a character from “The Lord of The Rings” or “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

Sebastian Babicz

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

Speaking of Narnia, it should be noted that some of the scenes from the movie were actually filmed in the Jelenia Góra Basin. Throughout the last couple of years, many crews found their perfect locations there, including teams working on such projects as “Redwoods”, “Ostatni Komers”, the latest film of Jonathan Glazer and many more.

Now, let’s have a closer look at the mountains. As mentioned above, there are four mountains ranges around Jelenia Góra Basin. There are Góry Kaczawskie in the north, Rudawy Janowickie in the east, Góry Izerskie in the west and finally Karkonosze in the south with the highest Śnieżka Mountain, 1603 m a.s.l., also referred to as The Queen. The Karkonosze range is known to be one of the most picturesque mountains in Poland. It is not as high as Tatry though. Mountain tops are rocky and the lower parts are covered by forests. They are perfect for shooting Alps-like landscapes. In the wintertime, you can even consider shooting the North Pole in Poland.

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

One of the most iconic places of Góry Izerskie is ‘the death turn’. It is a very sharp turn with an amazing view. But there are hundreds of kilometres of mountain roads, passes and turns suitable for another legendary commercial of a car maker.

Stanisław Pawłowski

 

Stanisław Pawłowski

Stanisław Pawłowski

We are neither knights nor princesses, we are filmmakers. But at some point we have something in common. Our ambitions are high, our visions are strong. We are creators. We are here to do something valuable, meaningful. We want to be cherished and remembered. We all want to change the world for the better. So why not let the legendary deer’s spirit inspire us. There was a knight, who followed this path and he succeeded, once upon a time…

Stanisław Pawłowski

Image credits: Stanisław Pawłowski, Town Hall of Jelenia Góra, Karpniki Castle, Sebastian Babicz

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Graffiti Films, Thu, 17 Mar 2022 17:13:29 GMT