Paris and Strasbourg
I traveled in France on two separate occasions (one for business and one for pleasure) and was able to visit some prominent locations of my favorite films.
The iconic Eiffel Tower has been seen in countless films. My photo was shot looking northwest (you can see Jardins du Trocadero through the base). The still from Mission Impossible: Fallout is taken from the area around Jardins du Trocadero, but in the opposite direction, facing southeast towards Champ de Mars, where I was standing.
The Louvre is a massive building, and I found myself with brain overload given all of the art on display (my favorites were the Vermeer’s). The glass pyramid entrance is very prominent and featured in two popular films—the DaVinci Code and Wonder Woman. I did make the trek inside to view the Mona Lisa, and it was a madhouse getting to the painting. It is behind protective glass, which, in my opinion, negatively impacts the viewing experience.
The Arc de Triomphe is another landmark in Paris that I was able to visit. The Arc is seen in The Day of the Jackal, one of my favorite espionage thrillers. Most recently, Tom Cruise had a motorcycle chase past the Arc in the Mission Impossible film, Fallout. The Day of the Jackal also features the Palais de Justice building, located on the small island in the middle of the Seine River that also is home to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Notre Dame was much smaller than I expected—kind of like the first time I visited Wrigley Field in Chicago to see the Cubs. The structure looks larger on film. I took these photos four years ago on a beautiful, fall October day. It is sad to think about how the recent fire demolished the roof (known as “the forest”). The scene from the 1939 Charles Laughton version is a set. You can see they enlarged the facade for dramatic effect (another reason I was surprised by the actual size).
I visited Pont Neuf and had my picture taken in front of the Samaritaine Hotel, where Jason Bourne stood atop in The Bourne Identity.
Finally, I traveled to Strasbourg and climbed the tower of the Strasbourg Cathedral. One of the towers was never completed due to lack of funds.
The front of the church was featured in the opening scenes of Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. Thankfully, a bomb has never detonated at the church!
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