Snippets of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts: My journey to Oxford and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The welcome Staircase and the Great Hall at Hogwarts
“Welcome to Hogwarts” said Professor McGonagall, when she welcomed the young wizards in HP and The Sorcerer’s Stone from the top of a stairwell. This particular stairwell lies in the Christ Church College (the only college in the world which is also a cathedral) at University of Oxford, Oxford, England (top left). The roof over the stair case is done in Gothic style, showcasing the Christ Church college, coat of arms (top right).
The stairwell leads to the college dining hall; entrance to the dining hall can be seen in the movie, the door behind professor McGonagall, when she is addressing the 1st year students from the top of the stairwell. The idea behind the Great Hall in HP movies was taken from this dining room (bottom). The Great Hall scenes in the movies were filmed in the studio, developed from the inspiration acquired from this dining hall. If this place is on your lists to explore in the future, plan to allot extra time, since there is always a queue; after all, there are a lot of Harry Potter enthusiasts!
Let’s go slightly off topic, and explore the surroundings of the Church college. The College has a beautiful meadow attached to it (top left) extensive indoor landscape (top right) and of course the beautiful cathedral (bottom).
As I said before, the dining room in the Christ Church College served as inspiration only. However, during my stay at Oxford, my living arrangements lead me to an ideal location for the Great Hall, the dining room at the Keble College, at University of Oxford.
The Infirmary and the Dance Practice Room
The Divinity School section of Oxford’s Bodleian Library was used as the infirmary and as the dance practice room in HP and The Goblet of fire. The administration has placed a sign inside the room highlighting the importance of the location for HP followers; how convenient is that 🙂
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Moving on from one form of entertainment, movies, to another, I take you to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in US. The wizarding world offers Hogwarts’ tourist magnificent architecture, towers just like the ones you see in the movies (top), the town of Hogsmeade (entrance bottom right), with its butter beer and the Honey Dukes shop. Moreover, the wizarding world have all sort of shops decorated with witch brooms and other Harry Potter memorabilia.
Then there were the awesome rides, but my absolute favorite was the “Dragon Challenge” (entrance bottom left). Two dueling roller coasters, one a Chinese Fireball dragon, the other a Hungarian Horntail dragon. Quite a unique way to experience Harry’s flight on his broom to win his first challenge to retrieve the golden egg from the Hungarian Horntail dragon in HP and The Goblet of fire; and finally, the truly remarkable Hogwarts Express.