If you like watching movies on television at home, you will notice there are a lot of popular films that are now showing on syndication. One of these popular films is the Da Vinci Code. Based on the bestseller book of the same name written by Dan Brown, the first half of the movie takes you to various places in France, particularly in the city of Paris.
The film takes us to various places in Paris, some very popular and busy, others a little less so. Some of these places did not become very popular until the release of the film, which created various walking tours for visitors around the city. But when I went to Paris, I did the tour on my own, not realizing that I was visiting places featured in the film. If you would like to do your own tour of Da Vinci Code’s Paris, here is a list of places you’ll find in the film:
The Louvre Museum – The beginning of the film takes you to the grand gallery of the Denon Wing of the Louvre. Located on the first floor (That means the second floor to the rest of us), the museum curator who happens to be the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion finds himself in great danger from a murderous albino monk. Through the chase, the grand master takes us passing through the great Italian masters works such as Leonardo de Vinci, Rafael Santi and Caravaggio. The film will later take you to two of Da Vinci’s works – The Mona Lisa and The Madonna of the Rocks. Professor Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu later escapes the police from the Louvre making their way to . . . .
Bois de Bologne – on the way to Bois de Bologne, the two characters made a stop at the US embassy, but it was guarded by several French police officers. The two managed to escape them again making their way to a section of the famous park in Paris. Located at the 13th arrondisement west of the Eiffel Tower, the two characters find themselves seating at a park bench figuring out what the key is or. The key’s stem was engraved with the inscription “Haxo 24” which turns out to be the street address of the Depository Bank of Zurich.
Haxo 24 – with the key they found behind Da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks, led them to an address in Paris, Haxo 24 which turns out to be the address of the Depository Bank of Zurich. This bank, however is not open to the public. The bank holds a cylindrical device called a cryptex that keeps a secret from the Priory of Sion, encased in a wooden pentagonal box. The cylinder only opens with the right code. What is the code? Keep on watching.
The Church of Saint Sulpice – In between scenes, we find the albino assassin heading to the Church of Saint Sulpice. Located at the Sixth arrondisement, the church is one of the underrated landmarks in Paris. This quiet unassuming church, even with the popularity of the film, has far less visitors than places such as Notre Dame. Inside the church, you’ll find an obelisk against the north wall and the prime meridian line. But don’t worry. the floor by the obelisk is not by anyway damaged.
There are other places in Paris where the film used famous landmarks as backdrop for a few scene as reference. You will see the Sacre Couer at Montmatre and the Cathedral of Notre Dame from the bank of the River Seine. The two characters managed to escape Paris in an armored truck leading us to the French countryside estate called Chateau Villette. Then we find them in London and then in Scotland. The last few minutes of the film takes us back to Paris and into . . . .
The Hotel Ritz – the famous professor is staying at the Hotel Ritz while lecturing in Paris. This luxury hotel is one of the oldest and well-respected hotels in the city. Located at the Place Vendome, the Da Vinci Code is not the only film shot inside and outside the hotel. The other film I am referring to is the 1957 Audrey Hepburn film, “Love in the Afternoon”.
The Glass Pyramid of the Louvre – We saw the underside of the glass pyramid at the beginning of the film. But after realizing the mystery of Mary Magdalene final resting place, Robert Langdon races out of the Hotel Ritz making his way to the I.M. Pei’s Glass Pyramid of the Louvre walking on top of inverted pyramid. The Hotel Ritz and the Louvre is both located at the First arrondisement so it’s a short walk between the two places. In the end, Langdon pays his respects to the remains of Mary Magdalene by kneeling on top of the glass. The film brings us back to where it all started.