“Everyone loves a conspiracy”
Murder, mystery, an age old secret with the power to change the truth this world is established on; words that neatly sum up Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. When released in 2003, this book fabricated a lot of controversy. Some applauding its gripping plot line, with intrigue and mystery at every turn and some criticizing it for its historical inaccuracy. Whatever may be the reason, this book was talked about. Guess Dan Brown was right on the mark when he said, “Everybody loves a conspiracy.” The book may have received conflicting reactions, but one thing that cannot be denied is that the story takes us on a majestic journey to some iconic locations. Since this book is claimed to be based on historical facts, most of these locations have a real life counterpart. So you don’t have to make your brain work overtime to fit an image to the wondrous descriptive locations. All you need to do is follow Professor Robert Langdon’s trail and journey through Paris, all the way to London.
The book begins its trail at the iconic Louvre museum in Paris and so it seems apt that that’s where you should begin. Called as the Louvre Palace, it used to be the habitat of the French Monarchy until it was converted into a public museum during the French Renaissance. Today it houses royal paintings, ranging from Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Madonna on the Rocks, both of which are important if you’ve read/watched The Da Vinci Code.
The Church of Saint-Sulpice
This is the church where the murderous fanatic Silas reaches, thinking it to be the location of the keystone after Jacques Saunière misguides him. Located in the 6th arrondissement, it’s the second largest church in Paris city. Originally a Romanesque church built in the 13th century, the current structure is a manifestation of the changes made to it in the 17th century. A truly magnificent sight to behold.
Château de Villette
Located 40 minutes away from Paris, Château de Villette was the location which acted as the magnanimous home of Sir Leigh ‘teacher’ Teabing. Many scenes were shot here on location. Currently it runs as a bed and breakfast hotel, which means you can rent a room here and see the beautiful mansion from the inside. Once you get a fill of your Da Vinci experience, this mansion has a lot of activities like jogging, biking, hunting, to keep you entertained.
Temple Church London
Built in the 12th century by the Knights Templar, this round church is an important setting in the novel and appears as is in the film. A truly marvellous sight, with this church you’ll feel like you’re walking through the pages of history. Here you can learn about the church’s complicated past with the British monarchy. During World War II, the church was slightly damaged and had to be restored.
Tomb of Issac Newton, Westminster Abbey
Following the clues, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu reach Issac Newtons tomb in Westminster Abbey, after figuring out that he was the knight the Pope interred. A gothic church, it’s one of the most religious buildings of London and also an attractive tourist destination. Built in the 10th century, this structure resonates an old world charm. Not just Sir Issac Newton, but many other prominent figures and British royalties like Henry V and his wife, Mary, queen of Scots are buried here.
The Da Vinci trail more or less culminates at the Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, Scotland. Built in the 15th century, the original chapel plans were lost, hence no one knows if the current structure is the original structure, or if it had been renovated. None the less, its architecture is considered one of the finest in Scotland. Since 1980’s there have been rumours surrounding the church’s association with the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. It’s this very controversy that Dan Brown also capitalizes on and uses. A site of mystery, intrigue and beauty, it’s a must visit, if you ever find yourself in Scotland.
The Da Vinci journey ends at the opening, at the Louvre Museum where Professor Robert Langdon finds the answer he’s been looking for. Well what answer you ask? You’ll just have to read the book or watch the movie to find out. Or better yet, follow the trail and find your own answers.
So what are you waiting for? Set off on your trail with our Europe Tour Packages.
Author : Sanjana Sule
Picture credits : Sanika Sule