The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?


Based on the book of the same name, The Da Vinci Code (2006) is a controversial yet commercially successful film. The movie has scenes from the most iconic places in the world. From the Louvre in Paris to West Minister Abby, The Da Vinci Code filming locations are real-life places of heritage and interest. So were the scenes in the movie filmed in the actual places? Let’s find out!

Directed by Ron Howard, The Da Vinci Code stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard. After a murder in the Louvre, he becomes the prime suspect in one of the most interesting and thrilling cases. While Langdon is innocent, he has to go on the run to prove his innocence. Having to solve ancient puzzles, the secrets that he unravels change not only his reality but the very foundation of an entire religion.

The Da Vinci Code filming location is spread across Paris and England. Many ancient churches and castles have been used for filming, and in Paris, the actual Louvre was used. Some parts of the movie had to be improvised in a computer studio, especially scenes with nudity in churches. Cathedral such as the Lincoln Cathedral in London was also used as a stand-in.

The Da Vinci Code has been surrounded by criticism and seen as a sinful act. The church argues that the movie is based on lies concocted in the novels of Dan Brown. These lies question the basis of Christianity, a religion that has stood strong for the last 2000 years. Many of these controversies played a part in the movie’s filming.

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Real-Life Places Of The Movie You Can Plan A Visit!

The Da Vinci Code isn’t the first movie that has been surrounded by controversy even before it was released. It certainly will not be the last. While the movie did face some protests at the filming locations, most went by smoothly. While making a movie, other considerations include logistics, scheduling, and site fees. So as the filmmakers navigated that, let’s check out some of the famous The Da Vinci Code filming locations.

The Parisian Lecture Hall | The Start Of The Movie

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

Professor Robert Langdon gives a lecture at a Parisian hall promoting his new book. This is when the local police call him up to the Louvre. But to your surprise, the lecture hall isn’t in Paris. The Concert Hall of Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon in Surrey. It’s in south England and not in France.

The Louvre | The Louvre Of The Movie Was Real

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

While the lecture hall might have been out of place, the Louvre Langdon is called to is the real one. Now known as the most visited museum globally, Louvre used to be once a royal residency of the French monarch. The Da Vinci Code isn’t the first film shot at the Louvre, but here’s a fun fact. During the filming of the scene with the Mona Lisa, while the painting used for the movie was fake, the real chamber was used as a storeroom. How many movies can say that?

The Investigation By Silas | Church Of St Sulpice, Paris

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

Silas – an albino Catholic monk who is behind the real murder, investigates the monks in the church of St Sulpice. Unfortunately, this famous church in Paris didn’t allow filming inside the holy place. So while we see the outside of the real Church of St Sulpice, the interiors were done in a studio by post-production company Rainmaker U.K.

Castle Gandolfo | The Summer Residence Of The Pope

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

The shady council members of a secret organization meet with Silas at the pope’s summer residence in Rome. Permission to film in the actual residence was denied on religious grounds. What we see as the exterior of Caste Gandolfo is Belvoir Castle. With some computer graphics, the Gothic Revival home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland acted as a stand-in. The castle is located about seven miles west of Grantham in Leicestershire, England. 

The filming of the interior of Castle Gandolfo was done in Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. Some parts of the castle also act as the garage where Langdon hides while running from the police.

Meeting With The British Grail Historian | The Brit In France

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

To get some clues and break the code, Professor Langdon looks to meet a British holy grail enthusiast Leigh Teabing. His estate in The Da Vinci Code is a place in France where you can go and book your stay. The location is Chateau de Villette, Condécourt, France. It’s some 27 miles from Paris. 

Searching For Tombs | The Templar Church

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

Yes, the templar church shown in The Da Vinci Code is one of the real churches in the world. This one is Templar Church, Inner Temple Lane, London. Constructed in 1185, the church is not only loaded with history but also has strong religious significance as well. It also follows the architectural designs from the Templar Church in Jerusalem.

Downtown Abbey | The Real One Or Not?

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

Well, filming at the Downtown abbey was not allowed from the start. The controversial status of the book and film meant The Da Vinci Code was on the no-entry list. In the movie, Langdon has to go to the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey. While the exteriors are real, the interior shots are not. Instead, the interiors of the abbey were shot in Lincoln Cathedral, with some post-production movie magic done on top. 

The Final Clue | The Rosslyn Chappel

The Da Vinci Code Filming Location | Were The Cathedrals In The Movie Real?

The series of clues end up taking Langdon to the Rosslyn Chappel. And to its luck, the chappel was more relaxed in their approach towards the movie. And filming took place at the Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland.  The Da Vinci Code ends with Professor Langdon back at The Ritz Hotel in Paris, for which the real hotel did the job. 

Final Words

Like I said at the beginning of this article, The Da Vinci Code filming locations are spread far and wide. The movie had a tough job trying to stay close to the script with many interesting and historical places in the book. If you visit any of these places, definitely plan a trip to these locations. Do you think we missed out on any important locations? Let us know in the comments below!

The Da Vinci Code Movie Release Date

The Da Vince Code Was Released On 19 May 2006

The Da Vinci Code Cast

Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Paul Bettany, and Ian McKellen star in The The Da Vinci Code movie

Who Wrote The Da Vinci Code Book?

Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code Book

What Is The Da Vinci Code?

The Da Vinci Code Is A Book And A Movie Following The Life Of Symbologist Robert Langdon

Who Plays Silas In The Da Vinci Code?

Paul Bettany Plays The Role Of Silas In The Da Vinci Code

Movies Like The Da Vinci Code

Some Movies Like The Da Vinci Code Are: Se7en, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, And National Treasure

The Da Vinci Code Sequel

Angel’s and Demons and The Inferno are the sequels of The Da Vinci Code Movie.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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