Rakvere – a town with few people and many movie locations
If you’re looking for a “Raging Bull” themed town, then look no further than northern Estonia.
When entering Rakvere, a cute little town with 15,000 inhabitants and tons of history, one of the first things you might notice is a bull. Maybe not exactly “raging”, but a bull nevertheless. It’s a sculpture, made of bronze by an Estonian artist Tauno Kangro, first unveiled as recently as in 2002. It was commissioned to mark the 700th anniversary of Rakvere, so you might imagine how many historically interesting places this town has.
Rakvere is the capital of Lääne-Viru County, and it’s situated some 12 and a half miles south of the Gulf of Finland. A brief trip from the Estonian capital Tallinn, Rakvere is easily reachable for any film crew of any size. What is even more important, though, is the fact that Rakvere has a lot to offer, including professional actors, as the town has a professional theatre and is believed to be the smallest town in Europe with a professional theatre company.
Until early 20th century Rakvere was more widely known by its historical German name Wesenberg(h). If you’re looking for a location to shoot a period flick (especially with knights and ladies in it), Rakvere might prove to be your best option. Rakvere Castle is a perfect spot for anything medieval, especially movies.
Throughout the years, Rakvere Castle has belonged to various people, including Danish kings, knight-monks of the Livonian Order and Swedish and Polish rulers. Today, the castle is a theme park, centered around life in the 16th century. You can dress up as knights and warriors and imagine living in the Middle Ages. And, of course, you can go even further and make a movie about all that. Should your script include darker sides of medieval life, the castle might be of even more assistance to you, with a wine cellar, a torture chamber, a brothel, a barber’s shop, and – of course! – an alchemist’s workshop.
Another point of interest – especially to movie makers – is the Rakvere Trinity church, yet another perfect spot to film a few scenes at. This Lutheran church dates from the 15th century and was built to protect people with all kinds of troubles, both spiritual and physical, as the church was used as a stronghold during more turbulent days. The church has been damaged and restored many times, and features some amazing craftsmanship, including a Baroque pulpit from 1690.
If you do decide to film in Rakvere, you can save a ton of money. A Film Estonia cash rebate is a cash incentive meant to support the production of feature films, feature documentaries, animation films, animation series, high-end TV-drama and the post-production of all beforementioned works.
Photos: Visit Estonia