Dan Brown’s mystical thriller has set off a mini-industry in Parisian travel, with enthralled readers touring the locations in its plot to unravel its enigmas.
“Da Vinci Code” fever has hit hard in France, as it featured in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel and Ron Howard’s recent film adaptation. Paris perhaps boasts the most credible link to the novel, and entrepreneurs there have taken the craze to new heights, with nearly 30 companies offering bus trips, walking tours and luxurious vacation packages. The Ritz hotel, where main character Robert Langdon stays, is offering an uncharacteristically cheesy “The Ritz and Da Vinci” package comprising a night at the hotel, a bathrobe and an illustrated special edition of the book. Then there’s the five-night extravaganza offered by the hotel Chateau de Villette, the fictional residence of the character Sir Leigh Teabing, about half an hour outside Paris.
A tourist group would walk from the tony Place Vendome down to the Tuileries Gardens, over to the Carrousel du Louvre’s inverted pyramid, across the Pont des Arts and into the sixth arrondissement, to the churches of St. Germain des Pres and St. Sulpice. All the sites figure in the book, with the exception of the Pont des Arts. The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour of Paris will take one through the pages of Dan Brown’s sweeping novel that has engulfed the world with conspiracy. Follow the adventure of renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he searches for the hidden clues that lie all the way through Paris.
This walk will take the tourist to the Church of St-Germain-des-Pres before closing the tour at the final destination, St. Sulpice. Here one will view the infamous Rose Line and take a look inside this dramatic church. Follow the Rose Line to the towering obelisk where Silas mistakenly believed the Holy Grail rested.
The latest craze is to search for the clues Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu sought as they deciphered clues hidden in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces like la Grande Galerie du Musée du Louvre, where fictional curator Jacques Saunière was murdered, works of art such as the Mona Lisa and The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, the Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio, l’arc du Carousel, pont du Carousel, and the frescoes by Eugène Delacroix, the ceiling, the astronomical gnomen, and the “brass Line” inside Saint-Sulpice Church. One can find the Arago plaques that mark Paris’ “Rose Line”, the north-south meridional line from which all east-west distances in France were measured until 1884. Search for the Holy Grail in I.M. Pei’s Inverted Pyramid.
“Da Vinci Code” sensationalism is encouraging visitors to Paris to take an interest in European history and art, and who can find fault in that? If nothing else, it’s a lovely walk.
About the Author
Anil Gupta recommends that you visit http://www.bookings.fr/city/fr/paris.html?aid=305255 for more information on Paris hotels.