By SJ Bansil
Let’s admit it. More often than not, movie settings play a huge role to make us totally entertained. Of course, the actors and the story itself are still the main focus of any film. But having an astounding backdrop adds points in viewership. And because nowadays technology rules in filmmaking, it’s not surprising that most movies use computer-generated imagery.
But hey! Some scenes are created outside the screen of a computer. Because most settings in our favorite movies actually exist. The famous Hogwarts hall in Harry Potter, the breathtaking falls in Black Panther, the enchanting, wild forest in Jurassic Park – these locations didn’t just come from the magic of technology, but they are real places that the filmmakers meticulously chose.
And the fact is, because of these movies, the film locations become tourists destinations and attractions. Who would not want to see the place where your favorite actor stood? Of course, all of us want to! So get your pen and paper, because here are the ten most iconic places used in movies:
Central Park, New York City
Maid in Manhattan, Enchanted and Night at the Museum are just some of the several movies filmed in this park. Located in Manhattan, New York, Central Park occupies an area of 340 hectares. It is also considered as the most visited urban park in the United States.
With the vast terrain of Central Park, you might find yourself astonished with the refreshing and stupendous landscape. There are also athletic playing fields and ice-skating rink for activities, and playground for children. But if you prefer just to stroll around, there are a zoo and small lakes that you can absolutely enjoy.
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England
Most of Hollywood movies shoot their locations in Renaissance settings – whether modern or medieval screenplay. And with the word ‘Renaissance’, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Yes, it’s a castle! And the Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England never fail the filmmakers to justify the settings they needed in the film.
This Jacobean House was a former palace of the Hatfields. It was magnificently decorated with paintings, pieces of furniture and tapestries. Numerous movies used this location in filming. These include Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sherlock Holmes, Anna Karenina, 47 Ronin, Tomb Raider and so much more.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
This impressive landmark of Paris is always on any travel lists. But Eiffel Tower is not only a tourist attraction but also one of the best filming locations, regardless of what would be the movie concept. Superman, The Bourne Identity and The Devil Wears Prada are among those countless movies that used the iconic attraction.
Enriched with splendid history, it is no doubt that Eiffel Tower is one of the best places you should visit. You definitely won’t get enough of taking selfies because of its Instagram-worthy angles.
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
If you’re planning to go to Prague, don’t forget to cross this stone Gothic bridge. Famous Hollywood movies such as Mission Impossible, The Omen, and xXx had filmed some of their scenes here. The construction of Charles Bridge started in 1357, commissioned by Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Accordingly, they used egg yolks in the construction to strengthen the bridge.
A lot of artists and musicians admire Charles Bridge. Since it is now a pedestrian zone, there are stands of souvenir vendors lined on both sides of the bridge. Sunset is the best sight you can see when you get there. Because the warm rays across the sky create a spectacular view of the Prague Castle.
North and South Islands, New Zealand
Rolling hills, looming cliffs, unusual limestone rock formations, magical forest and cascading waterfalls – who would not remember those majestic sceneries of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Even if you’re not a fan of those trilogy films, they undoubtedly marked in your thoughts through photos and trailers. And you might probably tell yourself, ‘Wow, awesome place. Where is that?’ And to answer your question, it was all filmed in New Zealand, specifically in North and South Islands.
And you might wonder that these locations have similar to other Hollywood movies that you’ve watched. Because North and South Islands also became the film settings of The Chronicles of Narnia, Wolverine, and some scenes from Mission Impossible 6: Fallout. If you’re up to some magical and out-of-this-world adventure, it would be great to visit and explore these wondrous islands.
Where do dinosaurs live? In Hawaii! Just kidding, of course, dinosaurs are already extinct. But Oahu, Hawaii will give you a Jurassic-era-feels because of its craggy yet remarkable topography. Remember the movie, Jurassic Park? That is the setting of that famous movie. And admit it, Oahu gave justice to the film’s location and it’s undoubtedly incredible.
Several filmmakers are awestruck with the island’s beauty. Its tropical weather to the stunning nature is seemingly escaped from the fiction world. The island was used in most Hollywood movies such as Pearl Harbor, Indiana Jones, 50 First Dates, and Soul Surfer.
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England
Wondering where is the well-known Hogwarts’ Grand Dining Hall located? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pass through the Platform 9 ¾ just to visit that notable place. It’s just in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England.
Henry VIII founded the cathedral in 1546. It was built as an integral part of the Christ Church College. Tourists around the world fall for the hype since the release of the movie series Harry Potter. If you plan to visit Christ Church, you must remind yourself that it’s a cathedral and not a wizardry school. Lighting a candle and saying a little prayer will surely be appreciated.
Skopelos, Skiathos and Damouchari, Greece
Does it ring a bell? It might cross your mind the scene when Meryl Streep sang the popular song of ABBA, Mamma Mia! in the musical movie of the same name. I bet you find yourself singing along while watching them dancing with a lot of women. Skopelos, Skiathos, and Damouchari in Greece are the islands and beach where they filmed the movie.
Mamma Mia! inspired many summer lovers because of the crystal clear beaches, picturesque villages and captivating view of the forest. And since then, tourism in Greece increased drastically. But aside from these spots, Greek bars and restaurants also become tourists’ attractions.
Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia
The historical, awe-inspiring Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia became more prominent because of the famous Hollywood movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. If you want to experience ancient tour with action-feels in it, you’ll definitely love to visit this mesmerizing temple.
This 12th-century constructed by Jayavarman VII and became known as the ‘face temple’ because of its mystifying, smiling faces. Bayon holds a mysterious origin and researchers can’t figure out the function and meaning of its exact and impressive angles.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
Can anyone forget the breathtaking and epic cascading falls in the movie Black Panther during the heartbreaking fight between T’Challa and his nemeses? It is unquestionably unforgettable. Not to mention, this enthralling body of water is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – the Iguazu Falls.
Situated on the borders of Argentina and Brazil, this spellbinding falls has blown many people’s mind because of its engrossing, natural beauty. According to the legend, a deity was going to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi. But the woman fled with her lover in a canoe. Furious, the deity slashed the river, making the waterfalls and condemning them to an eternal fall.
Without a doubt, our world has innumerable wonders and spectacle – whether man-made or not. Who knows, there are still hundreds of places in our planet that are yet to unfold. And we might see them next time we watch movies. How awesome is that? But for now, chill, explore these places as you search for a new destination for your adventure.