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THE DAVINCI CODE

The Da Vinci Code Locations
The production team on The Da Vinci Code travelled from Paris to the United Kingdom to Malta, stopping at some of the most fascinating and significant historical landmarks in Europe.

Although a number of sets were built at Shepperton and Pinewood Studios, the majority of the film's key scenes were shot on location. Says Tom Hanks: "We were in many of the actual places mentioned in the book, with all the amazing historical significance that entailed. We got to crawl through some little doors and kneel on some very hard floors. Without a doubt, however, it helped me as an actor to go even farther into my portrayal of Robert Langdon. It was a very different experience than driving to a Hollywood studio every day and going to Stage 6 to shoot your scenes.” France

The initial scenes of The Da Vinci Code were shot in the streets of Paris, where the intricate and exciting Smart-car chase scenes took place at the legendary Musée du Louvre and outside the city at the Château de Villette near Versailles. Originally constructed as a fortress to protect the Right Bank in the late 12th century, the Louvre has played a long and varied role in Parisian history. It first was transformed into a Gothic royal residence in the 14th century by Charles V, and then ambitiously recreated as a Renaissance palace in the 16th century for King Francois I, the last patron of Leonardo da Vinci. The Grande Galerie opened as a museum in 1793. Nearly 200 years later, after many more changes and extensions, Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei designed new underground spaces as well as the controversial glass pyramid that now serves as the museum's entrance and is an important symbol in the movie.

The production was fortunate enough to be one of very few granted access to film inside the museum's Grande Galerie after hours. "We felt extremely privileged to be able to shoot there. It's a magnificent touch for the film,” says Hanks.

Adds his co-star Audrey Tautou: "I really liked that we were able to be in the Louvre at night and have all the paintings and the statues to ourselves. It was a truly stimulating and intoxicating experience.”

Director Howard likened his adventure inside the Louvre to spelunking. "It's a little bit like going into a cave and shining your light around and seeing the amazing formations. When you're in the Louvre alone, you feel like you're in a cavern with manmade treasures, art treasures. As a filmmaker it is humbling to stand in awe at the sheer volume of great work that resides within the walls of this one museum.”

The character Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) lives in the Château de Villette, which lies northwest of Paris, close to Versailles. (Langdon and Sophie arrive there late at night in the armored truck they have appropriated to seek his advice on the Holy Grail.) Completed on or about 1696 for François Mansart, the Count of Aufflay, (Ambassador to Venice under King Louis XIV), the impressive 185- acre estate includes two rectangular lakes, cascading fountains and beautiful gardens designed by André Le Nôtre, who also designed the gardens of the Palais de Versailles. Filming took place over three nights on the grounds of the Château, though the majority of the interiors (apart from the foyer) were filmed on various soundstages at Shepperton Studios. United Kingdom

Travelling to London to find additional clues in solving the riddle of the cryptex, Langdon, Neveu and Teabing race to Temple Church, which is located between Fleet Street and the River Thames. The church, consecrated in 1185, was one element of a temple constructed in the 12th century to serve as the headquarters in England of the Knights Templar. The church is divided into two parts, the original Round, and the rectangular Chancel, completed in 1240. The Round was designed after the round Holy Ch

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