Authentic Setting: The Walls of Luckau Prison on Film

Film Locations
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Baroque residences with intricate stucco elements and richly decorated façades, as far as the eye can see. Seeing the magnificent buildings at the market square in Luckau, it does not come as a surprise that from the 15th century onwards, the town in Spreewald Forest was known as a rich merchants’ town. Traces of medieval times can be found all across town. Visitors walk on historic cobblestones, as they explore atmospheric vaulted basements and the towering town wall with its moat. Another place where traces of a time long gone can be admired is the former prison in Luckau. Established in 1747, the striking baroque building can look back on an eventful history, as it was home to prisoners, as well as famous movie stars. After all, scenes for some big productions have been shot in the building.
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  • Altstadt von Luckau, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Barockes Giebelhaus, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Sankt-Nikolai-Kirche in Luckau, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Filmszene aus "Vier Minuten" im ehemaligen Gefängnis von Luckau, Foto: Kordes & Kordes
  • Filmszene aus "Der Vorleser", Foto: Senator Filmverleih
  • Filmszene aus "Der Vorleser", Foto: Senator Filmverleih
  • Altstadt von Luckau, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv, Steffen Lehmann
In summer 2005, the director Chris Kraus summoned his ensemble of the feature film ‘Four Minutes’ to the former prison. Located in the heart of the historic town centre, the old prison was used as a shooting location for the multi-award winning drama. Hannah Herzsprung plays a young and unpredictable prisoner that was once considered a musical prodigy and is now at odds with herself and the world.

The historic premises were also used in a Hollywood production. The former prison was a shooting location of the feature film ‘The Reader’ that millions of people saw at the cinema. The literary adaptation is about the 15-year-old student Michael Berg who enters a doomed relationship with Hanna Schmitz, who is twenty years his senior, not knowing of her dark past.

The German production ‘Sweethearts’ was also shot in Luckau. To shoot the film that came out in 2019, Hannah Herzsprung returned to the place where her acting career had begun. Two women, who could hardly be more different, embark on an adventure together in this comedy film. An unconventional type of friendship blossoms between timid Fanny and quick-witted Mel.

Luckau’s appeal is reflected in its ability to attract prominent representatives of the film industry. The town in the tourist region Spreewald Forest has some surprises in store, when it comes to the interesting shooting locations that can be found in its historic centre. The former prison in Luckau, for example, allows for fascinating insights into the town’s history. It is nowadays a museum and a cultural centre. 

Four Minutes (Vier Minuten)
  • Genre: Drama, music
  • Description: An older piano teacher trains a young prisoner in a women’s prison.
  • Directed by: Chris Kraus
  • Production country: Germany
  • Distributor/broadcaster: Kordes & Kordes
  • Cast: Hannah Herzsprung, Monica Bleibtreu, Vadim Glowna
  • Trailer: Link to YouTube

The Reader

  • Genre: Drama, romance
  • Description: Germany after World War II: Almost a decade after the end of his affair with an older woman, law student Michael Berg comes across his ex lover once a gain, as she is the defendant in a war crime trial.
  • Directed by: Stephen Darldry
  • Production country: Germany, USA
  • Distributor/broadcaster: Senator Filmverleih
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, David Kross
  • Trailer: Link to YouTube

Continue readingcollapse
Baroque residences with intricate stucco elements and richly decorated façades, as far as the eye can see. Seeing the magnificent buildings at the market square in Luckau, it does not come as a surprise that from the 15th century onwards, the town in Spreewald Forest was known as a rich merchants’ town. Traces of medieval times can be found all across town. Visitors walk on historic cobblestones, as they explore atmospheric vaulted basements and the towering town wall with its moat. Another place where traces of a time long gone can be admired is the former prison in Luckau. Established in 1747, the striking baroque building can look back on an eventful history, as it was home to prisoners, as well as famous movie stars. After all, scenes for some big productions have been shot in the building.
Continue readingcollapse
  • Altstadt von Luckau, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Barockes Giebelhaus, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Sankt-Nikolai-Kirche in Luckau, Foto: TMB-Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Filmszene aus "Vier Minuten" im ehemaligen Gefängnis von Luckau, Foto: Kordes & Kordes
  • Filmszene aus "Der Vorleser", Foto: Senator Filmverleih
  • Filmszene aus "Der Vorleser", Foto: Senator Filmverleih
In summer 2005, the director Chris Kraus summoned his ensemble of the feature film ‘Four Minutes’ to the former prison. Located in the heart of the historic town centre, the old prison was used as a shooting location for the multi-award winning drama. Hannah Herzsprung plays a young and unpredictable prisoner that was once considered a musical prodigy and is now at odds with herself and the world.

The historic premises were also used in a Hollywood production. The former prison was a shooting location of the feature film ‘The Reader’ that millions of people saw at the cinema. The literary adaptation is about the 15-year-old student Michael Berg who enters a doomed relationship with Hanna Schmitz, who is twenty years his senior, not knowing of her dark past.

The German production ‘Sweethearts’ was also shot in Luckau. To shoot the film that came out in 2019, Hannah Herzsprung returned to the place where her acting career had begun. Two women, who could hardly be more different, embark on an adventure together in this comedy film. An unconventional type of friendship blossoms between timid Fanny and quick-witted Mel.

Luckau’s appeal is reflected in its ability to attract prominent representatives of the film industry. The town in the tourist region Spreewald Forest has some surprises in store, when it comes to the interesting shooting locations that can be found in its historic centre. The former prison in Luckau, for example, allows for fascinating insights into the town’s history. It is nowadays a museum and a cultural centre. 

Four Minutes (Vier Minuten)
  • Genre: Drama, music
  • Description: An older piano teacher trains a young prisoner in a women’s prison.
  • Directed by: Chris Kraus
  • Production country: Germany
  • Distributor/broadcaster: Kordes & Kordes
  • Cast: Hannah Herzsprung, Monica Bleibtreu, Vadim Glowna
  • Trailer: Link to YouTube

The Reader

  • Genre: Drama, romance
  • Description: Germany after World War II: Almost a decade after the end of his affair with an older woman, law student Michael Berg comes across his ex lover once a gain, as she is the defendant in a war crime trial.
  • Directed by: Stephen Darldry
  • Production country: Germany, USA
  • Distributor/broadcaster: Senator Filmverleih
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, David Kross
  • Trailer: Link to YouTube

Continue readingcollapse

Arrival planner

Luckau

15926 Karl-Liebknecht-Straße

Weather Today, 15. 8.

18 31
Possible light rain overnight.

  • Tuesday
    18 32
  • Wednesday
    18 33

Brochures

Tourist information

Tourismusverband Spreewald

Lindenstraße 1
03226 Vetschau/Spreewald OT Raddusch

Tel.: +49 (0) 35433-72299
Fax: +49 (0) 35433-72228

Weather Today, 15. 8.

18 31
Possible light rain overnight.

  • Tuesday
    18 32
  • Wednesday
    18 33

All information, times and prices are regularly checked and updated. Nevertheless, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the data. We recommend that you inquire about the current status by phone / e-mail or via the provider's website before your visit.

(+49) +49(0)3312004747​ We are available for you via telephone: weekdays Mon – Fri 9 am – 1 pm and Oct. 31 from 9 am – 1 pm.

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