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Saturday May 18th 2024

Resident Evil | 2002

Resident Evil filming location: Bahnhof Bundestag, Berlin
Resident Evil location: the underground entrance to The Hive: Bahnhof Bundestag, Berlin

A virus has escaped in ‘The Hive’, a vast secret facility deep below the streets of ‘Raccoon City’ turning the staff into – what else? – flesh-eating zombies.

When the controlling computer locks down the complex to prevent further infection, the all-powerful Umbrella Corporation sends in an elite military unit to turn off the over-reaching system.

Paul WS Anderson's actioner, based of course on the game, was made around Berlin, Germany.

Bursting into the above-ground entrance to The Hive, the team discovers Alice (Milla Jovovich), who’s just woken up with no memory of how she got there.

Resident Evil filming location: Schloss Lindstedt, Berlin
Resident Evil location: the above-ground entrance to The Hive: Schloss Lindstedt, Potsdam, Berlin | Photograph: Wikimedia / Hillenbrand

The innocuous exterior of The Hive is Lindstedt Palace, part of the Potsdam Park Sanssouci complex on Lindstedter Chaussee, close to the Neues Palais (New Palace) and Sanssouci Park.

It was built in 1859 for Frederick William IV of Prussia as a retirement retreat in the style of Roman villa. Unfortunately, the king died in 1861 and the palace was never used.

Now a listed building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's used for lectures, concerts, receptions and readings. Access to the palace is via the portico and guided tours of the castle and the grounds are available.

From Berlin, you can get a train to Potsdam, and from the station, it’s a short bus ride to Sans Souci itself.

You can see Sans Souci itself in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, the the 2004 version of Around The World In 80 Days and its elegant park in 2005 sci-fi-fantasy Aeon Flux, with Charlize Theron.

The interior, however, is the Officers' Mess in Kaserne Kampnitz, 14476 Potsdam, on Bundesstrasse 2 in Fahrland at the northern tip of Krampnitzsee, about six miles north of Berlin. A military complex of more than 50 buildings, Kampnitz was built during the rearmament of the 1930s. After the Second World War it was used by Soviet troops until being abandoned in 1992.

The site isn’t open to the public but nevertheless seems to have become a magnet for urban explorers. Scenes for movies such as Inglourious Basterds, Enemy at the Gates, The Monuments Men, and Valkyrie were also shot here.

An underground railway takes Alice and the unit to the Hive’s underground entrance chamber, which is the (then as-yet unopened) Bundestag U-bahn station near to the Reichstag. At the moment it’s not the city’s busiest line with a solitary train shuttling back and forth between Bundestag and nearby Brandenburger Tor though further extensions are planned to connect the line with the city’s main system.

Before it was fully completed, the station also provided Christian Bale’s glum office in Kurt Wimmer’s 2002 grim sci-fi Equilibrium.