Hey I Know That Place!: Bath, The Perfect Setting for Period Drama
I was watching the newest Les Misérables film on the big screen a couple of weeks ago and enjoying it very much, when we reached a scene nearing the end. And something took me almost completely out of the drama. Can you guess what it is?
A river with very distracting artifact.
I thought, hey I know that place!
And it is NOT Paris!
I wasn’t sure 100% when I saw it (who knows there are dozens of rivers with similar feature, right?). But I googled things up right after I came back home, and surely it was Bath, in England, which I’ve been to a few times.
It is quite interesting that Les Misérables, though a very French story taken from a French book by a French author and is set in Paris, was mainly shot in England. A fact that was sourly pointed out by the French friend that watched the movie with me. We both thought the settings throughout the movie did look more like London than Paris.
We can’t figure out why they didn’t just shoot in Paris. It’s only 2 hours away by train. The actors and actresses are all English-speaking, so probably it’s easier to shoot in England? Cheaper? More convenient? Who knows!
It is quite unfortunate for us that the scene that was supposed to be the climax of the movie slapped us back to planet earth.
Bath is the perfect setting for period dramas. It is a beautiful city with lots of Georgian architecture intact. It is the most popular city for tourists outside of London, as it is not that far away and it has a lot to offer. Many famous people, dead or not, love Bath, so it claims many famous residents, including the author Jane Austen. (Yea sorry, I’m generally more interested in the dead ones.)
Though Jane Austen really only lived for a number of years in Bath, the city is the place most associated with her. Bath is the setting for two of her books: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. The films were also filmed here.
If you’re a movie buff, their tourism board has even made Bath’s movie map! From Harry Potter, Dracula, Vanity Fair, The Duchess, to Bollywood Cheeni Kum, and tons more. It also includes film locations that are around Bath.
If you go visit Bath, the city provides a free walking tour a couple of times a day, and the meeting point is just in front of the Cathedral and the Pump Room (practically where the girl above was playing her violin). Make sure you go to that as it is a lovely way to get to know the city from the residents that volunteer their time and who obviously are very fond and proud of it.
Leaving you with this picture of Mee with River Avon, again. (Apparently I cannot get over the fact that they played pretend with Bath as Paris. Though I do like Bath very much, probably more than Paris.)
The City of Bath was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage in 1987. Well worth visiting, y’all!