5 locations Berlin has doubled as in films

Culture

Berlin as London

This is the real Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin. The "Konzerthaus Berlin" concert venue is located between the so-called German and French cathedrals. The popular filming location had to be completely revamped in 2004, when it doubled as London.

Culture

Berlin as London

Thirty cubic meters of Styrofoam, nine tons of plaster and lots of plywood were necessary to turn Berlin into London for "Around the World in 80 Days." The French Cathedral became the Bank of England and the concert hall was the Royal Academy of Science. Big Ben was squeezed into the picture thanks to computer editing. In the end, Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt was certainly not recognizable.

Culture

Berlin as Moscow

The Leipziger Strasse in Berlin has a great deal of Soviet charm. The street features four lanes, offering not only the perfect backdrop for Moscow, but also plenty of space. The concrete blocks add to the Russian feeling.

Culture

Berlin as Moscow

In 2004, several scenes of "The Bourne Supremacy" were filmed here, including one featuring a wild chase through what was supposed to be the Russian capital. Berlin locals, however, can always recognize their city anyway - despite the Russian police cars with Cyrillic writing scattered around the picture to add authenticity. The film starred Matt Damon and Franka Potente.

Culture

Berlin as France

Generations of Berliners have enjoyed visiting Clärchens Ballroom - a former ballroom turned nightclub. The century-old dance hub has survived two world wars and has seen quite a few film crews come and go. In 2008, it was transformed into a French restaurant.

Culture

Berlin as France

Clärchens Ballroom made an appearance in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds." In one interrogation scene, Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz are seen sitting in a French inn. If you look closely, you'll recognize the ground floor of Berlin's legendary ballroom. Other scenes in the film were also shot in Berlin.

Culture

Berlin as Luxembourg

With its glass façade, Berlin's Sony Center makes for the perfect film backdrop. In 2009, the building complex on Potsdamer Platz was turned into a dishonest Luxembourg bank.

Culture

Berlin as Luxembourg

It was director Tom Tykwer, who lives in Berlin, who filmed parts of "The International" at the Sony Center. In the movie, an Interpol agent, played by Clive Owen, investigates the Luxembourg bank for money laundering, terrorism and weapons trade.

Culture

Berlin as Panem

The monumental former Tempelhof airport, pictured here in 1997, used to be the largest building complex in the world. Now it's one of the most beloved film locations in Berlin. In 2013, it was transformed into the totalitarian and fictional country of Panem.

Culture

Berlin as Panem

In the film "The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1," Berlin's Tempelhof airport fits perfectly into the oppressive fantasy world of Panem. The airport was disguised as the rebel camp District 1, which is badly damaged in the film.

Berlin has become a popular destination for filmmakers - even for movies that aren't set in Germany. Here are a handful of other locations that Berlin has been dressed up as on camera.

It practically seems like the makers of the Jason Bourne films starring Matt Damon rented out Berlin. The German capital on the River Spree is featured in nearly all the films in the series. However, some scenes that were filmed in Berlin are actually set elsewhere in the world.

The second part of the series, "The Bourne Supremacy," was mostly shot in Berlin. The assassin with amnesia, Jason Bourne, travels to a variety of European cities in the search for his true identity - even though in some cases star Matt Damon didn't even have to leave Germany.

Whether to save production costs or because Berlin is so visually diverse, the German capital managed to double as Naples, Amsterdam, Moscow - and, now and then, itself.

Some scenes were filmed in neutral-looking locations, like the Walther-Schreiber Square in the Schöneberg district, which is made to resemble Amsterdam. The modernistic ICC trade fair venue in Charlottenburg was costumed as a customs office in Naples and an airport in Moscow.

Berlin's Tempelhof airport turns up occasionally and is the site of the most likely short flight in film history in "The Bourne Supremacy." The corrupt CIA agent Ward Abott takes off in Amsterdam, which is filmed at Tempelhof, and lands in Berlin - in reality, at the very same airport.

Hollywood star Matt Damon seems to be a real Berlin fan. "It's not a real Bourne if it doesn't come from Berlin," he wrote in the guest book at the city's Babelsberg Film Studio.

Click through the gallery above to find out which other cities Berlin has doubled as.

 

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