Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Real-life Grand Budapest Hotel Elevator

If you have seen the film The Grand Budapest Hotel (and I heartily recommend you do) then you might remember the distinctive elevator that takes guests up to the hotel.

It seems like a fanciful invention from the imagination of Wes Anderson or his amazing design team. However, whilst exploring the Sächsische Shweiz we came across the inspiration for the elevator in Bad Schandau (filming for one scene was also done there).

Here it is:
Bad Schandau elevator  by Andie Gilmour

For comparison, here is a publicity shot from the film The Grand Budapest Hotel :

Still from the Grand Hotel Budapest - unattributed

The elevator is quite something. It was erected in 1905, is electrically powered, and was conceived and financed by hotelier Rudolf Sendig to transport guests to his Country House colony above Bad Shandau in Ostrau.

Bad Schandau elevator  by Andie Gilmour

For a few euros you can travel up it, and at the top you get good views down the Elbe valley and of the small spa-town of Bad Schandau (even better when it is not a misty morning when we went up!):

Bad Schandau elevator  by Andie Gilmour

At the top of the elevator (or I should say 'lift' as I am not American) they have some caged lynxs apparently, which are indigenous to the area, but extremely rare. They must have been still in bed when we were there as we didn't see them, and to be honest I am glad I didn't as it would have saddened my heart to see them caged up.

There is however a memorial plaque to Rudolf Sendig himself, the real M. Gustav of his day!

Memorial to Rudolf Sendig  by Andie Gilmour

 We didn't stay long as we were on our way to climbing the Schrammsteine, a string of rocky outcrops in the mountains of the Sächsische Schweiz. We could see them ahead from Ostrau - hope this mist lifts though!

Die Schrammsteine from Bad Schandau-Ostrau  by Andie Gilmour

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