Sweden: The Seventh SealHovs Hallar: A Game of Life and Death
The nature reserve of Hovs Hallar is located in the province of Skåne in Southern Sweden. It features some very distinct geological formations, which is why director Ingmar Bergman used the rocky shoreline for the most famous scenes in his movie The Seventh Seal.
In an award commissioned by the European Film Academy, Hovs Hallar has been designated as a Treasure of European Film Culture. You can find a small plaque celebrating this achievement on site.
On a mild November day in 2018, Stefan set out to explore the location along with local tour guide Ingrid Persson Skog.
Thankfully, Ingrid had advised me to bring sturdy shoes, as the walk from the car park down to the sea and along the shore requires a bit of boulder hopping.
The distinct rock formation depicted below also features in Bergman's movie The Hour of the Wolf which he partly filmed at Hovs Hallar.
This small cave at the head of the beach can be seen in The Seventh Seal.
Ingrid and I had good fun setting up the chess game at the location.
When we finally sat down for lunch and took our time to enjoy the scenery, Ingrid said: "I always wonder whether this location has become a special place due to its connection to film, or whether Bergman chose this location because it has always been a special place and he could feel that"
I definitely think it was the latter. Some places speak to us in a very intrinsic way and we can feel a deep sense of their magic. This is certainly the case with Hovs Hallar.
The opening sequence of The Seventh Seal: Death has finally found the Knight...
..who does not go down without a fight - his is a chess game of life and death.
Without a doubt, it's one of the most iconic scenes in movie history:
Park your car at the carpark next to the Hovs Hallar Hotel & Restaurant. From here, walk through the gate next to the information board and follow the path down to the beach. Then head north along the shore to reach the filming location.
We highly recommend you end your visit with a walk up to the hilltop overlooking the reserve. The track starts on the northern side of the carpark. The views are simply stunning and the area up here was also used in Bergman's movie The Hour of the Wolf.