visit the film locations
Prague: Flights: Prague Ruzyne Airport
Tourism: Prague Tourist Information
Estates Theatre, Zelezna ulice 11 (Zelezna Street) at Havirska Street, Prague
Visit: Kromeriz Palace
Amadeus location: the ‘emperor’s palace’: Archbishop’s Palace, Hradcany Square, Prague
Playwright Peter Shaffer’s fantasia on the rivalry between composers Salieri and Mozart was filmed almost entirely in real castles and palaces in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic.
Only four sets were built for the movie – the Volkstheater, where Schikanader (Simon Callow) stages a surreal comedy; Salieri’s hospital room; the interior of Mozart’s apartment; and the staircase where he meets his father, at Prague’s Barrandov Studios. The famous studios, in the suburb of Hlubocepy, were founded in 1933 by President Vaclav Havel’s uncle Milos.
Amadeus location: the ‘Vienna’ opera house: Estates Theatre, Zelezna Street, Prague
The relatively unchanged Old Town (Staré Mesto) of Prague stands in for 18th century ‘Vienna’. The opera performances, Seraglio, Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, were filmed here in the unchanged Estates Theatre (formerly the Tyl Theatre), Zelezna ulice 11 (Zelezna Street) at Havirska Street. Built in 1783 for Count Anton von Nostitz-Rieneck, as the Nostitz Theatre, it became the German Theatre in the mid-19th century until 1945, when it was renamed for Czech dramatist and actor Josef Kajetan Tyl.
During his lifetime, Mozart was always more appreciated in Prague than in Vienna, and the composer actually chose to stage the première of Don Giovanni at the Estates, on 29 October 1787. The theatre is featured again in Rob Cohen’s adrenaline-fuelled XXX.
To the west, reached by the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) over the Vltava River, you’ll find the Lesser Town (Malá Strana), a picturesque quarter of winding streets, taverns and old houses which provided more period backdrops. North of the Mala Strana is the residential district of Hradcany, where the aristocracy built their swish palaces.
Here you can see the ‘Emperor’s Palace’ – actually the recently restored Archbishop’s Palace (Arcibiskupsky Palác, formerly Gryspek Palace), the Prague residence of Cardinal Tomasek, in Hradcany Square (Hradcanské námestí) opposite St Vitus Cathedral.
Originally a Renaissance mansion, it was bought by Ferdinand I from the Royal Private Secretary – Florian von Gryspek – and presented to the Catholic Archbishop of Prague. During the 16th century it was rebuilt and extended before being remodelled in the Baroque style between 1675 and 1688. In 1764 Johan Joseph Wirch reworked it into Rococo style and decorated the interior in sumptuous splendour. You can see the results, but it’s not easy. The Palace is only open to the public one day a year, between 9am and 5pm on Maundy Thursday.
Amadeus location: Salieri first encounters Mozart: Kromeriz Palace, Czech Republic
The first encounter of the envious Salieri (F Murray Abraham) with the brattish Mozart (Tom Hulce) uses the equally lavish interior of the Baroque palace at Kromeriz, northern Moravia in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. The palace and its gardens are open for guided tours.
More austere interiors for Salieri were found in the former Palace of the Grand Prior of the Knights of Malta, Maltese Square (Maltézské námestí), for a while, Prague’s Museum of Musical Instruments, it’s now home to the Anglo-American College, a private liberal arts college.