‘Colditz’ is set in Colditz Castle which is a real place in Germany. However due to the difficulties of filming abroad in the then communist East Germany most of the exteriors were filmed around the UK. In many scenes another building doubled up for Colditz Castle and we are not sure which parts belong to which places. We do think when PoW’s are filmed abseiling down Colditz’s castle walls in the dark it’s Stirling Castle.
Colditz Castle or …?
The Prisoner’s Courtyard (a set built at Ealing Studios for the BBC)
Information on the Real Colditz Castle
Colditz Castle is situated in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. Permission was granted to build a fortified building in Colditz in 1046. Work on building Colditz into its current form began in the 16th century after a large fire destroyed the older castle. Originally Colditz Castle was a royal residence for various Lords but in the late 16th century Colditz Castle became an administrative centre for the Office of Colditz and a hunting lodge. In the 19th century the castle became a workhouse from 1803-29 and afterwards a mental institution/sanitorium until 1924. In 1933 when the Nazis came to power it became a prison for political prisoners and undesirables (jews, homosexuals, communists). In 1939 Colditz became a prison for allied soldiers and was renamed Oflag 4C.
After the end of the war (1945) Colditz was initially a prison used by the soviets and then a nursing home and hospital. Nowadays Colditz is open to visitors and has a museum and the guards quarters are now a youth hostel.
(see the links pages for a list of Colditz Castle websites)
Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK.
Due to similarities with Colditz Castle, Stirling Castle was used for some exteriors. And like Colditz, Stirling Castle is open to visitors. Stirling Castle’s Palace wall features as the german’s courtyard in ‘Gone Away’. Stirling Castle is the most likely candidate for being Colditz in the episode ‘The Way Out’ which features an escape over & down castle walls.
Calver Mill, Calver, Derbyshire, UK.
Calver Mill , Calver village and the surrounding peak district countryside (most probably Froggatt Edge) doubled up for Laufen PoW camp and its surrounds in ‘The Undeafeated’. Pat and friends can be seen escaping across the weir in ‘The Undefeated’. Today Calver Mill has been turned into an apartment block. Flats are currently on the market for around £300,000, tunnel not included.
Scarborough Barracks (in Osnabruck, [formly West] Germany) was also used to stand in for Colditz. Today it is no longer a barracks for UK armed forces but a university.
Polperro, Cornwall, UK
Polperro stood in for St Nazaire in ‘Name, Rank & Number’
St. Andrew’s Church, Steeple Gidding, Cambridgeshire, UK
St. Andrew’s church was used for both the interiors and exteriors of a german church in ‘Missing, Presumed Dead’.
More photos here.
Switzerland: The Location of Episode 15 “Gone Away: Part 2 – With the Wild Geese” was filmed partially in Switzerland. The 3rd Picture in the row two of ‘Gone Away’ was filmed in 8263 Buch. Other filming locations in Switzerland: 8261 Hemishofen, one of those train stations might be filmed 8200 Schaffhausen. (info from swissangel4616, with thanks)