It has been nearly two years since the debut of Shadow and Bone’s first season on Netflix in 2021. Fans eagerly anticipated the reunion of Alina and Mal, and now the wait is over with the release of Season 2 on March 16. While Ravka may be a fictional realm, some may be curious about the real-world locations where filming took place for the new season.
According to IMDb, Shadow and Bone season 1was shot in Hungary. The positive experience led to the return of production for Season 2 in January 2022, as What’s On Netflix reported. Hungary has become a sought-after location for filming numerous fantasy and adventure series, including Moon Knight and The Witcher, thanks to its impressive castles and historical architecture. Given these features, it’s understandable why Netflix selected Hungary to bring the world of Shadow and Bone to life. While Origo Studios in Budapest served as a primary filming location, real-world places such as Festetics Castle in Keszthely were also used for settings like the Little Palace of Ravka’s Second Army.
You should visit these set-jetting locations on your next trip to Europe, particularly if you like Shadow and Bone. Here’s all the Shadow and Bone filming locations you can explore to help you navigate Ravka.
Novyi Zem Library
The Eötvös Loránd University (ELTA) Central Library in Budapest was used as the filming location for the Novyi Zem library in Shadow and Bone. In Season 2 Episode 1, titled “No Shelter But Me,” Alina searches for a nautical map of the True Sea and meets a Durast before reuniting with Mal. The scene takes place in the 19th Century ELTA library building’s two-story Main Reading Room, which contains some manuscripts from as early as the 16th century.
Budapest has numerous magnificent libraries, but the spiral staircase design in the Shadow and Bone library scene distinguishes it from others, such as the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library at Wenckheim Palace, which features ornate metalwork. Although the Netflix series portrays the ELTA library as a dimly lit reading space, the Main Reading Room has ample natural light thanks to a large skylight.
Pekka Rollins’ Country Estate
The Brunszvik Castle in Martonvásár served as the filming location for Pekka Rollins’ Appelbroek estate in Shadow and Bone. As Jesper correctly observed, the castle bears no resemblance to a glass factory. The real-life Pekka Rollins house has been transformed into a Beethoven museum, adding to its historical significance.
Built in 1784, the Brunszvik Castle originally featured a Baroque design, but underwent a series of modifications over time to achieve its present-day neo-Gothic appearance. Interestingly, the Brunszvik family had a personal connection with Beethoven, as the composer was a close friend of the family.
At the Beethoven museum, visitors can view various relics, including a piano played by Beethoven himself and an unusual artifact, a lock of his hair.
The Barrel scenes in Shadow and Bone were filmed at Origo Studios in Budapest. These scenes first appear in Season 2 Episode 1, titled “No Shelter But Me,” where Kaz, Inej, and Jesper find themselves apprehended by the Stadwatch in Ketterdam’s underworld.
Season 2 of Shadow and Bone features plenty of action in and around Ketterdam, with some Kerch scenes filmed on location throughout Hungary. In addition to the studio-based scenes, viewers can look forward to experiencing the authentic atmosphere of Hungary in the show.
The Grand Palace At Os Alta
Several locations were used to film the Grand Palace scenes in Shadow and Bone, including Budapest’s Stock Exchange Palace, Buda Castle’s Great Rondella and Royal Palace, and the Royal Castle of Godollo’s Grassalkovich Palace. The Throne Room was shot in the main hall of Budapest’s Museum of Ethnography.
While some of the palace locations from Season 1 return for Season 2, it’s worth noting that not all the palace rooms were filmed in one location. Although the royal palace in the show has real-world counterparts, it’s a composite of different places to bring the world of Shadow and Bone to life.
The Grand Palace Hall
During Season 2 of Shadow and Bone, the former Stock Exchange Palace in Freedom Square, Budapest served as the filming location for the Grand Palace scenes. In Episode 3, “Like Calls to Like,” Alina reunites with Nadia and Zoya at the Ravkan Second Army’s base, which is actually the Budapest Stock Exchange Palace, the same location where the archives heist took place in Season 1. The Stock Exchange Palace was used as the main filming location for key scenes between the Grisha and Ravkan royal family in Episodes 3 and 4, “Every Monstrous Thing.” Additionally, the scene where the Darkling’s shadow creatures enter through the dome was filmed at the Stock Exchange Palace, although some CGI was also used, as seen in the Season 2 trailer.
The castle ruins scenes in Shadow and Bone Season 2 were shot at the Eger Castle Replica Ruins, situated in Pilisborojeno, Hungary. The Darkling catches up with Genya at the entrance to the ruins in Episode 3, “Like Calls to Like”, while David remains hidden behind the castle walls. Despite their authentic appearance, the ruins are not ancient at all, but instead, an imitation 16th Century fortress that was constructed for a 1960 movie about the Ottoman invasion. However, the imitation castle has since become a tourist attraction and a popular filming location.
The location of the castle tunnel in Shadow and Bone Season 2 Episode 5, “Yuyeh Sech (Despise Your Heart)” is highly likely to be the Buda Castle Labyrinth. The chambers depicted in the show strongly resemble the labyrinth situated under Castle Hill in Budapest. The labyrinth dates back to the Middle Ages, and although it has been reopened to the public, visitors can still find references to the labyrinth’s past uses and legends. For a more immersive experience, one can take an Oil Lamp Tour to add to the atmosphere of this ancient attraction.
It appears that the scenes for the Bhez Ju market and tea house in Shadow and Bone were filmed at Origo Studios, based on our observation. In Season 2, Episode 6, “The Heart Is An Arrow”, Kaz and Nina embark on a mission while Inej utilizes her skills as the Wraith. This sequence also provides insight into Kaz’s backstory and his relationship with Inej.
First Army Fortress
Monostori Fort in Komarom, Hungary served as the filming location for the First Army base in Shadow and Bone Season 2 Episode 6, “Ni Weh Sesh (I Have No Heart)”, where Nikolai reunites with his comrades. This turf-topped complex had previously served as a real military building for several decades, initially as a fortification for the banks of the Danube and later as a Soviet ammunition store. Presently, the fort has been converted into a museum that educates visitors about the local area and military history. Tourists can observe sleeping quarters set up as they would have been in the past and gaze through the square windows lining the walls. Therefore, visitors can walk the same paths as Alina and Nikolai, provided that the fort is open during the visiting hours.
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