Robert Langdon is one of the most iconic literary characters to have graced the silver screen. The famed American scholar and symbologist really takes us on the adventure of a lifetime as he tries to find the location of the Holy Grail in ‘The Da Vinci Code’ alongside his new acquaintance, Sophie Neveu. Starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Paul Bettany, and Jean Reno in prominent roles, the movie is a must-watch for history and conspiracy theory buffs alike. Here, we discuss all the places that were used for filming purposes.
The Da Vinci Code Filming Locations
Three locations are prominently visible in the film – The United Kingdom, Malta, and Paris. Although the shoot was to commence in May 2005, due to some delays, it got pushed back to June 30, 2005. Since there is a long list of places to go through, let’s get started with the discussion.
The lecture hall where we meet the scholar for the first time is the Fairfield Halls, situated in Croydon, London. The exterior shots of the Castel Gandolfo, where the council meets, were taken at Belvoir Castle. The interior scenes, however, were captured at the Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Interestingly, this is also where we see Sir Teabing and Langdon being pursued by the police in the garage of the former’s French residence. The flashback scenes with Saunière’s retreat were also shot here.
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Since Westminster Abbey did not give permission for filming inside the premises, the cast and crew headed over to the Lincoln and Winchester cathedrals instead. The former is situated in Lincolnshire and received £100,000 as payment, whereas the latter is located in Hampshire. Interestingly, a 61-year-old nun named Sister Mary Michael prayed for 12 hours outside the Winchester cathedral to protest the “heretical” film.
— Lincoln Cathedral (@LincsCathedral) November 23, 2020
In the film, Robert, Teabing, and Sophie land at the Temple Church in London to look for the bodies of the Templar Knights, but instead, they find effigies. This scene was shot on location. The Opus Dei safe house, in real life, is situated at 207 Gloucester Terrace, near Paddington Station. There is a scene that involves the Paris–Le Bourget Airport. However, this was actually filmed at the Shoreham Airport in West Sussex, England.
The Biggin Hill Airport in Kent also appears on the list of filming venues. Some other locations that were instrumental are King’s College London, and the docklands in Poplar, London. Lastly, Pinewood Studios was used for the shoot, as was Shepperton Studios.
Towards the end of the movie, the clues lead the pair to the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The scene where they part ways was taken at Rosslyn Castle near Midlothian. Caledonian Hilton Hotel in Edinburgh also doubled up as a filming site for the movie.
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The Musée du Louvre actually allowed filming to take place on-premises. A replica of the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ was used, and the shoot reportedly took place at night after hours. Needless to say, this is where we see Robert being taken to examine the curator’s dead body. When he tries to escape with Sophie in the smart car, we see the Pont du Carrousel and the Rue Saint-Georges.
And may I add, I'm more amazed that filming was kept a secret! I was still living in Paris when they filmed scenes there for The Da Vinci Code. They filmed mostly at night, after hours, but it was impossible NOT to know! Beyonce is magical! 😁
— Guillaume Eyango (@Eyango) June 18, 2018
The exterior of the Church of Saint-Sulpice was used, but permission was not given for filming inside. So, the scenes involving it were created in post-production, which proved to be quite the challenge. The house of the Holy Grail scholar is actually the Chateau de Villette in Condécourt. Apart from this, the Palais Royal also appears on the list of filming venues.
The region of Montmartre makes an appearance in ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ The apartment of Silas, the Opus Dei Monk, is located on the corner of Rue Becquerel and Rue de la Bonne, right behind the Sacré-Cœur. Furthermore, the Ritz Hotel (at 15 Place Vendôme) is where Robert is seen shaving. It is when he has the epiphany about the location of the Holy Grail.
Malta is an island nation situated between Sicily and the North African coast. Interestingly, it was used to film those flashbacks that involved the Templar Knights during the Crusades. In particular, the scene with the Roman soldiers on horseback passing over a bridge was taken at the entrance to the city of Birgu, also known as Vittoriosa.
Read More: Is The Da Vinci Code a True Story?