Tonight, Hallmark is airing a special Thanksgiving movie called Christmas at the Palace. The movie is about a former professional ice skater who is hired by the king of San Senova to help his daughter. Of course, love and tradition are at odds, and it’s a mystery which will win. This movie features beautiful scenes at a castle and in “San Senova,” but where was it really filmed?
San Senova, where the movie takes place, is a fictional country created for the film. Christmas at the Palace was filmed on location in Romania, including Bucharest and Snagov Palace. But the town of San Senova was actually filmed on a studio lot, created just for the movie. The movie was filmed in October. By the way, this wouldn’t be the first royalty-themed Hallmark movie filmed in Romania. In fact, this is becoming a tradition for Hallmark.
The movie premieres Thursday, November 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central.) It stars Merritt Patterson and Brittany Bristow. Here are some on-location behind-the-scenes photos:
Look at the beautiful castle in the background of this picture from Snagov below. Snagov is in Romania, just north of Bucharest. One of the locations where the movie was filmed was Snagov Palace, Patterson told Seat42F. (By the way, if you’re wondering why the website is called Seat42F, it’s because it was created during the LOST era and refers to the show. It was once fully focused on Lost. I actually spent a lot of time browsing the site back in those days myself!)
Snagov Palace is a former royal palace on the shore of Lake Snagov, about 40 miles northeast of Bucharest in Romania. It’s located inside the commune of Snagov, near the Snagov monastery. The palace was completed in 1932 and has a formal garden and fountains, with a guesthouse. Because of royal conflicts, Prince Nicholas barely used the palace.
Castel Film Studios in Bucharest was the production company and studio behind the movie:
And by the way, A Royal Winter was filmed in Romania too, and Patterson was part of that movie. She told Media Village that they even used some of the same locations, and some locations were filmed in a studio.
The town of San Senova, Patterson said, was actually shot on a lot. So you won’t be able to visit the town in real life, unfortunately. Patterson told Media Village: “They created this beautiful magical town, but to see it you would never know it [wasn’t real].”
Here are some of the other royalty-themed Hallmark movies that have been filmed in Romania. If the scenery looks familiar to you, there might be a good reason why! The movies include A Royal Christmas from 2014, A Princess for Christmas in 2011, and A Christmas Prince.
And in February, Hallmark premiered Royal Hearts, which was filmed in Romania in the summer. So both Merania and San Senova are actually Romania. You can see details about Royal Hearts‘ location in our story here.