Where was Napoleon filmed? Guide to all the filming locations

Posted by

Directed by Ridley Scott, Napoleon was filmed in England, Malta, and Morocco.

The movie chronicles the rise and fall of the legendary French military leader, who lived from 1769 to 1821, from the perspective that an epic 157-minute film can achieve.

Napoleon location

Joaquin Phoenix, who won an Oscar for Joker, plays the title character, while Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Mission: Impossible - Fallout) plays his first wife, Empress Joséphine Bonaparte.

Here is our spoiler-free guide to all the filming locations of Napoleon. You'll find the locations in order of appearance.


The Napoleon locations

The guillotine square
During the turmoil of the French Revolution in 1793, a young military officer named Napoleon Bonaparte witnesses the execution of Marie Antoinette.

The guillotine was originally installed in the Place de la Révolution in the heart of Paris, now known as the Place de la Concorde.

For the movie, this scene was filmed in the central courtyard of the Somerset House, located on the Strand along the River Thames in London.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
  Image courtesy of Apple TV and Tony Warren - Map


St John’s Smith Square
The scenes with Robespierre were filmed at the St John's Smith Square concert hall in Westminster, London.

This elegant Grade I listed Baroque church was rebuilt as a venue for classical music performances after being bombed during the Second World War.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Siege of Toulon
The French encampment sequence and the Siege of Toulon in 1973 was entirely filmed in Malta.

Fort Ricasoli, modified with some CGI, served as the citadel where the British were quartered.

This historic 17th-century fortress is located on the eastern side of the Grand Harbour in Kalkara.
Image courtesy of Apple TV and Sudika - Map


Napoleon in Malta
The scenes in the old town of Toulon were filmed in the beautiful narrow streets of the old quarter of Valletta.

According to the Times of Malta, a hree-masted frigate was built to represent a generic period warship, inspired by the 1741 HMS Blandford.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


St Paul's Cathedral square in Mdina
The church in the scene after the prisoners are released was filmed in the St Paul's Cathedral square in Mdina, Malta.

Mdina is a fortified medieval town in the central part of the island, characterised by its medieval and Baroque architecture.
Image courtesy of Apple TV and Frank Vincentz - Map


Napoleon and Joséphine
In this scene, Napoleon and Joséphine are not in a house, but under the gate of St Paul's Cathedral, facing the same St Paul's Square in Mdina.


Napoleon house
Napoleon's house was filmed at the Petworth House in West Sussex, England.

This 17th-century mansion containing a significant collection of paintings and sculptures, features magnificent French-style interiors.

The Survivor's Ball, where the couple first meet, was filmed in the Beauty Room and other areas of this large stately home.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


The royalist insurrection
The royalist insurrection scene, in which Napoleon orders the crowd to be sprayed with cannon fire, was filmed at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London.

Originally designed as the Royal Hospital for Seamen, it is today a cultural and educational centre that attracts visitors with its maritime history and stunning architecture.
Image courtesy of Apple TV and Bill Hunt - Map


Napoleon palace
Napoleon's estate was filmed at the Boughton House near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

This 17th-century mansion is renowned for its grand Baroque architecture, extensive gardens and impressive art collection.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Napoleon in the Pyramids
The scenes from the Egyptian campaign were filmed in the Merzouga desert region of Morocco.

Historically, Napoleon Bonaparte's troops did not physically shoot or damage the pyramids in the battle against the Mameluks.

The Battle of the Pyramids is so called because it took place near the Pyramids of Giza, and the troops could see the ancient monuments far in the background.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Barts Hospital staircase
This short scene was filmed in Hogarth's painted stairwell at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

Created around 1735-37, there are plans to restore the large paintings that decorate this hidden area of the 900-year-old hospital.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Sistine Chapel of the UK
The 1799 coup scenes were filmed in the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College.

The Painted Hall is often referred to as the 'Sistine Chapel of the UK' due to its superb Baroque ceiling paintings created by Sir James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Blenheim Palace in movies
The Palace of Versailles was filmed at the Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

This monumental country house, built in the early 18th century, is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Image courtesy of Apple TV and Gail Frederick - Map


Napoleon coronation ceremony
The coronation ceremony at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was actually filmed at Lincoln Cathedral.

Constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries, this jaw-dropping Gothic cathedral has a central spire that held the title of the world's tallest building for over two centuries.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Battle of Austerlitz
The Battle of Austerlitz in 1804 was filmed at Hankley Common nature reserve near Farnham in Surrey, using a mix of live action and CGI effects.

Owned by the Ministry of Defence, this park has been used as a filming location for many productions including 1917 and The Sandman.

Further woodland scenes were shot at Bourne Woods, another popular location in Surrey..
Image courtesy of Apple TV and Industrial Light & Magic - Maps: Hankley Common / Bourne Woods


Chateau de Malmaison
The Chateau de Malmaison was filmed in West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire.

This splendid 18th-century Palladian-style country house has been used in many films and TV shows including Bridgerton, Lift, and Taboo.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Island of Elba
This scene of Napoleon's exile on the island of Elba, located between Corsica and Italy, was filmed at the Ta' Lippija Tower in Mġarr, Malta.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


MHS Bellerophon in Plymouth
The scene aboard the MHS Bellerophon in Plymonth was filmed on a real British naval ship, the HMS Victory.

The ship, best known for its role as Admiral Nelson's flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, is preserved at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.
Image courtesy of Apple TV - Map


Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations of Napoleon? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

NOTICE: If you’re using this information on your website, please credit and link to this page as a source.
*****

0 comments

All comments are reviewed prior to publication