This week I crossed off a very big thing that has been on my current bucket list, 25 Things for My 25th Year: visit the main filming location for one of my favorite films, Ever After: A Cinderella Story. But first, some background info about my experience with this film’s shooting locations.
I visited this region of France, the Périgord, once 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until I was in the city of Sarlat that I realized where I was. Sarlat is a gorgeous city, by the way, and it’s where they filmed the “town” scenes of Ever After. During that same trip I also toured the ruins of Château de Commarque, which, I found out the other night, was also a filming location for this movie! (Click here for the picture proof) So, technically I have now visited 3 of the filming locations for one of my all-time favorite films :) On to Château de Hautefort!
In the Cinderella film Ever After, Château de Hautefort serves as the home of the King and Queen of France and their rebelliously romantic son, Prince Henry. In real life, Château de Hautefort is considered the jewel of the Périgord, a region in the southwest of France.
When we visited the castle it was undergoing renovations on one of its towers. It’s rare to visit a castle when it’s not being renovated, but nevertheless it was still a very beautiful castle to see in real life! The park itself is exquisite. I felt like I was in my own fairytale as I walked around the gardens and the courtyards that I easily recognized from one of my most-watched movies. My husband can attest–I was fangirling!
And now for the pictures! (There are tons!)
This exterior courtyard is where I fangirled the most. It’s where Danielle and Henry have their first banter, where the Prince becomes enraptured by her. Even though there was the restoration of one of the towers going on while we were there, it was still a beautiful visit.
This interior courtyard is breathtaking. I would love to eat my lunch out here, overlooking the quaint city of Hautefort. Or spend an afternoon out here lounging with a book. It. Is. Beautiful.
This is also the scene where they shot the masked ball, although I didn’t recognize that at first. In the movie there are hundreds of props and people and it looked completely different, but just as lovely in its own way.
This is the staircase the Grimm brothers are seen going up in the beginning of Ever After. It’s a simple yet elegant staircase that invited guests would have used when visiting the castle.
This room, I discovered after rewatching the movie last night, was used in several scenes:
♥ The Grimm brothers meeting with the Grande Dame takes place here (you can recognize the marble bust by the window).
♥ This room is also used as the throne room, both for when Henry and his parents have the disagreement about the arranged marriage and for Rodmilla and Marguerite’s “trial” at the end of the movie. The room looks very different due to all the added wall coverings, but the flooring is the same.
Some historical facts:
♥ The Fireplace Room was formally a great hall which was formally a medieval dungeon!
♥ The fireplaces themselves are not original as they were destroyed in a devastating fire in 1968 (which happened to be the second of two great fires in the castle’s history)
My favorite room of the castle (at least of the ones that are open to public viewing) was the Lady’s Bedroom. If this were my bedroom, I would never leave it except to walk in the gardens or to take a bath in my beautiful conjoined bathroom:
I enjoyed touring the dining room especially because it was not ruined in the 1968 fire. The artwork on the walls is from the 17th century.
Another enchanting room, this is the bedroom my husband would love to call his own. I love the canopy bed and the bookshelves and the desk, and pretty much everything about this room. There was also a lovely fireplace I was unable to photograph.
I recognized this passageway as soon as I entered it. There wasn’t much to see down there except for the old kitchen that you could only get a glimpse of from the doorway.
Directly in front of the entrance to the castle lies an extensive park. Dogs are allowed in the park and gardens, which was fortunate for us since we visited the castle on our trip home from vacation and Solo was with us. Matt and I took turns visiting the castle’s interior and then we were able to stroll through the castle grounds together.
The gardens are arguably the most beautiful part about Château de Hautefort. My pictures do not do them justice, but you can see for yourself how intricate everything is.
Several scenes from Ever After were shot in these gardens, including:
♥ The conversation in the early evening between the King, Queen, and Prince Henry when they come to a compromise on the marriage was shot beneath this covered walkway. While I was there I even quoted the Queen’s line: “Choose wisely, Henry. Divorce is only something they do in England;” ;)
Ok, so that was A LOT of pictures to post, but who doesn’t like looking at pictures of pretty castles? ;) Hope you enjoyed this post, whether you’re an Ever After fan or not!