Movie star castles: top structures where famous films were shot

Albina PanchenkoNews
Castles and fortresses that became movie sets

When watching their favorite TV shows, many people dream of being on the other side of the screen to see with their own eyes the beauty of the knight's hall where brave warriors dined or to behold a sturdy fortress and its impenetrable walls that have shielded the population for centuries.

In fact, their wish is quite real and achievable. All one needs to do is plan a route through the famous locations where renowned movies were filmed.

Highclere Castle, Great Britain

This ancient edifice has featured in numerous movies. It can be spotted in numerous episodes of Jeeves and Wooster, in the film adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel The 4:50 from Paddington. And not a single season of the Downton Abbey series could have been without it.

The backstory of this stately abode prior to its starry hours is no less intriguing and captivating. It stands on the grounds of a palace that was constructed in the eighth century. Its modern appearance dates back to 1842 when the estate became the property of the Herbert family. Before that, it changed hands frequently. Often, such frequent changes of ownership have a positive impact on the course of events because each owner desires to refurbish the mansion according to their preferences. However, this wasn't always the case.

Highclere was unlucky in this regard. None of its owners attempted restoration works. For a structure over a century old, this neglect wasn't ideal. Nevertheless, the castle still managed to wait for its moment in the limelight.

The palace itself is located not far from London, amidst a large and spacious park, isolating it well from modern constructions. This allows directors to capture the essence of ancient times in their films.

By the way, the castle is currently closed to visitors. The date of the official reopening will be announced on the official website.

Movie star castles: top structures where famous films were shot

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco

This complex also follows the footsteps of the previously mentioned stately one. Numerous famous movies were filmed within its walls. Its walls, surroundings, tunnels, and various chambers can be seen in movies such as "Jesus of Nazareth," "The Last Temptation of Christ," "Kundun," "Alexandra," "Gladiator," "Lawrence of Arabia," and even in the first Bond movie starring Timothy Dalton.

The first stone of the fortress was laid in the 11th century. Its origins parallel those of many fortifications. The bastion was constructed to safeguard caravan routes. But who would have imagined that one day the primary "Moroccan shield" would become a movie star?

Interestingly, this ancient complex still belongs to a noble family. The government has plans to transform it into a national tourist attraction, but as of now, these plans only exist on paper. However, there is good news: it is possible to enter. The family residing here understands the desires of travelers, so they willingly grant entry. The owners have even established a small ethnographic museum where visitors can view exhibits for a nominal fee.

By the way, access to the castle is available through four entrances, two of which are free of charge, while the other two require payment.

Movie star castles: top structures where famous films were shot

Fort Ricasoli, Malta

You've undoubtedly seen this handsome fortress in movies like Troy, Game of Thrones, and Gladiator.

The main star of historical films was constructed in the late 17th century. As expected, it was erected for defense. But looking at it today, it's hard to believe that its sturdy walls once withstood lengthy sieges. Yet, it's true. Its formidable walls resisted invaders for a considerable period. Subsequently, the bastion was seized by the British, and the outpost began to function as a prison.

Unfortunately, access to the citadel is prohibited, so you won't be able to enter. Additionally, strolling around its vicinity is also unfeasible. The fortress is "guarded" by the waters of the Gulf of Rinella. However, don't fret; the fortification is clearly visible from the opposite side. No one will prevent you from admiring its remarkable beauty from a distance.

Movie star castles: top structures where famous films were shot

Himeji Castle, Japan

The oldest castle complex in the Land of the Rising Sun has also featured in famous movies. It can be observed in detail in The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and You Only Live Twice with Sean Connery. Additionally, episodes of the dramas Ran and Shadow of the Warrior were filmed nearby.

At one point, this structure caught the attention not only of filmmakers but also of the UNESCO World Organization. Even before the films graced the big screen, the palace came under the protection of the organization.

Construction of the castle commenced in the fourteenth century and was officially completed in the seventeenth. The prolonged construction period was not due to architects' inability to finish the work; rather, it was a result of frequent changes in ownership, each of whom desired to customize the castle to their preferences.

By the way, the castle has a second name - White Heron Castle. Accessing the complex is quite easy. Regular tours are available, and photography is even permitted.

Movie star castles: top structures where famous films were shot

It turns out that it is possible to get to the other side of the screen. You just have to want to and, of course, buy tickets to the desired location.

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