This time it is his search for the secret organization “Spectre” that takes agent James Bond around the globe on his 24th mission. Along the way, 007 makes stops not only in Mexico and Rome, but in Austria, where in early 2015 one of the most spectacular action scenes of “Spectre” was filmed in Sölden, Tirol. The installation “007 ELEMENTS”, on the summit of the Gaislachkogl Mountain, aims at bringing the story of the production of the most expensive James Bond film of all time to life in an unforgettable way.
The content of the cinematic installation “007 ELEMENTS”, situated at 10,000 feet (3,050 metres) above sea level, is just as top secret as the precise opening date. But the name speaks for itself: James Bond films have certain characteristics: fast cars, breakneck action scenes and spectacular locations. All of these signature elements will be explored in the installation. The filming of “Spectre” in Sölden, of course, plays the leading role, but other parts of the Bond series will be featured as well.
The installation will extend over two levels, creating a unique 13,993 square foot (1,300-square-metre) Bond world. Film screens, soundscapes, and interactive exhibits will appeal to all senses and relate the Bond story in an engaging and educational way. The various galleries are equipped with Bond-like state-of-the-art technology and bring unforgettable scenes from 007 films to life, allowing visitors to totally immerse themselves in the moment. The stark, futuristic structure, which you enter through an underground tunnel, is an integral component of the overarching concept, blending seamlessly with the Alpine backdrop and offering the typical 007 combination of impressive architecture and breathtaking scenery.
Talking about architecture: Sölden has the modern design of its “ice Q” restaurant on the Gaislachkogl to thank for being chosen as a film location. The rather surreal look of the building and the futuristic terminal of the Gaislachkoglbahn gondola, designed by the Tirolean architecture firm Obermoser, offer everything a “spectre-cular” action scene needs.
Enthroned on the summit of the Gaislachkogl is the stylish gourmet restaurant “ice Q”. In “Spectre” this structure served as the location of the “Hoffler Klinik”, where Dr. Madeleine Swann works as a psychologist. The Bond girl is abducted by the evil Mr. Hinx, and 007 – as we expect – sets off in hot pursuit.
The restaurant is situated directly by the upper terminal of the Gaislachkoglbahn gondola: skiers can stop off here for a gourmet meal or treat themselves to a post-ski martini in the best James Bond tradition: “shaken, not stirred”. The stupendous panorama from the 10,032 foot (1,3,058-metre) summit is even mentioned in the film and should not be missed
Parts of the movie were shot at the mid-station of the Gaislachkoglbahn gondola, at (7,132 feet) 2,174 metres above sea level. In the film, throngs of skiers are heading out to the slopes – oblivious to the dramas playing out around the protagonists pushing their way through the crowds.
Chase scenes are an integral element of any James Bond film, and it is difficult to top one in which a vintage airplane flies alongside Austria’s highest glacier road and then crash-lands to capture the villains and rescue the girl.
Initially this scene was not even in the script. The location manager glimpsed the Ötztal Glacier Road from the gondola on her way to view the “ice Q” and knew it would be perfect for a chase scene. The idea was immediately integrated into the script. Which is not surprising: this is how inspiring Austria’s landscape is.
“I packed my suitcase with fast cars, an airplane and a barn.” The film crew arrived in Obertilliach fully laden for the elaborate action scene. They even brought along a barn they had dismantled in Styria and then rebuilt on the ski slope of this East Tirolean village, population 700. It took two months to construct the film set, which James Bond then smashes through with his plane in a fraction of a second to free Bond girl Dr. Madeleine Swan from the clutches of evil. “Right now, Dr. Swann, I am your best chance of staying alive,” says Bond. Any man who goes to these lengths can be taken at his word.
The chase scene with the airplane took Bond through a corridor-like forest clearing as well. The previous year, numerous trees had fallen over under the weight of the snow, creating enough room that even an airplane – which during the filming was pulled by two cables – could pass through it. A stroke of luck for Bond – and for Obertilliach.
Incidentally, the village was also selected because of its historic centre with its 300-year-old wooden houses, which are protected as historic landmarks. This backdrop gives the story a crucial dramatic element. Daniel Craig was on location in Obertilliach for three days of filming, but the entire stunt scenes took a full three weeks to shoot.
The solar ship that operates as a passenger ferry on the lake served as the director’s control centre. James Bond fans can retrace the footsteps of 007 on a ride on this ship. Accompanied by seasoned boatmen who were present during the filming, one can glide across the scenic lake to the “Jagdhaus Seewiese” and hear all the stories of the Bond shooting first-hand. Like the one of the firemen who had to make artificial waves in order to prevent the lake water from freezing Paul König, the owner of the hunting lodge, has also many exciting Bond insights to share while you enjoy his fish and strudel specialties and fantasise about a secret agent’s life in front of the original remains of the film set.
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Since the filming of “Spectre” was to be shrouded in absolute secrecy, the movie was even given its own cover name: it was produced under the working title “B24”.
© Berbahnen Sölden / Rudi Wyhlidal
In January and February 2015 shooting was done in Sölden. On hand was a 600-person film crew who spent 15 days in this Austrian Alpine village.
© Bergbahnen Sölden / Markus Bstieler
Hollywood pulled out all the stops in Sölden: 80 lorries were required to transport equipment, as well as 80 minivans, 50 pickups, 45 Range Rovers and two Britten-Norman Islander planes.
© TVB Osttirol / privat
The film crew lodged at the Bergland Hotel Sölden. In Altaussee they stayed at the Romantik Hotel Seevilla and in East Tirol at the Grandhotel Lienz and at the Dolomiten Golf Hotel. With a bit of luck you can sleep in the very bed where James Bond himself relaxed after a strenuous day as a secret agent.
© TVB Osttirol privat
The number plates of the vehicles involved in the thrilling chase scene do not really exist. The abbreviation “IL” can be recognized on the plates, which stands for “Innsbruck Land”, but the provincial emblem is that of the capital city of Vienna.
© TVB Osttirol privat
The Academy Award-winning Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who in “Spectre” plays the evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld, alias Franz Oberhauser, was not part of the film shoot in Austria.
© Bergbahnen Sölden / Rudi Wyhlidal
“Spectre” was set in nearly the same places as the 1987 Bond film “The Living Daylights”: Morocco, London and Austria. In this country the movie was shot at Vienna’s Gasometer, at the Volksoper, at the splendid Sofiensäle event hall, at Schönbrunn’s Palace Theatre and at Vienna’s Prater amusement park – where James Bond takes a romantic ride on the Riesenrad Ferris wheel with his Bond girl, Kara. But the spectacular backdrop of Carinthia’s Lake Weissensee also contributed a “touch of Austria” to the 15th Bond movie.
© Ötztal Tourismus / Rudi Whylidal
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