CZECH REPUBLIC – Karlovy Vary, Mill Colonnade // Casino Royale (2006)
Small town Karlovy Vary is a spa haven in eastern Czech Republic. Tourists come for healthy sulfurous fountains – you should come for the splendid architecture.
Why Bond was here
After underworld financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) runs out of money, Bond (Daniel Craig) is to meet him in a high-staked poker game in Montenegro to finally bankrupt the villain. Bond is accompanied by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a foreign liaison agent from the British Treasury. Both flirt-meet each other on a train to Montenegro, before arriving as disguised couple “Mr. Beech” & “Ms. Broadchest” at a Montenegrin train station.
The front of the supposed-to-be train station is in reality the façade of the Mill Colonnade in Czech town Karlovy Vary. With its Neo-renaissance looks and twelve sandstone statues guarding the portico, the landmark gives a splendid impression of an old European terminus.
The Mill Colonnade is situated just in the center of the small town. Coming from Karlovy Varys lower train station dolní nádraží – where the intercity buses arrive – take a left on Doktora Davida Bechera street or on Tomáše Garrigue Masaryka boulevard and then follow along river Teplá. After a little walk through Dvořákovy park, the Colonnade is to the right.
Best agency to book a bus to Karlovy Vary is national Student Agency, that offers two hour rides for 160 Czech Crowns from Prague.
Good to know
Karlovy Vary is a famous spa town, with tourists craving for relaxation promenading the city all day long. In many colonnades – including the Mill – and parks, little fountains are installed, that splutter with healthy sulfurous water. One can buy special sippy cups to take a sip on the sulfur while on stroll through Karlovy Vary. In spring, the whole town is filled up with a scent mixed between blossoming flowers and brimstone.
Following both the scent and the river Teplá further south, one will reach the two most famous movie locations from Casino Royale: The Grandhotel Pupp, that served as Bonds residence, and the Kaiserbad – prepped as the notorious casino itself. On the walk from the Mill Colonnade over there, another location, the film crew briefly used in the movie, is along the way.
As Bond and Vesper get a lift from the “train station” to their hotel, the car leaves the Mill Colonnades over the little bridge south of the colonnades. It then drives along Tržiště street in front of the Tržní Colonnade. Following Tržiště street, the Grandhotel Pupp comes into sight. Don’t get confused with the movie: There, the car is going the wrong way, away from the hotel.
As Karlovy Vary is not far away from our home country Germany, so we’ve already been here twice. Best time to come is late spring, when the town and its park are in full blossom. You don’t need to get yourself a sippy cup – the sulfurous water tastes the same from a normal cup. Or opt for a even better taste: the towns famous oplatky wafers in one of the boulevard cafés.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 2006 United Artists Corporation and Danjaq, LLC (2)