10 iconic James Bond locations
In this article we are visiting 10 locations that were featured in the James Bond movies. The purpose of this list is to show how a previous rather unknown location or landmark can be made famous instantly thanks to the Bond franchise. Today, they all receive a lot of tourists, but without 007 they still would be relative unknown to the public.
10. Jökulsárlón glacial lake: A View to a Kill and Die Another Day
The frozen scene of lake Jökulsárlón and the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier have been part of the James Bond films A View to a Kill and Die Another Day. The lake was formed after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of these glaciers. While completely frozen in winter, luminous blue icebergs that calved of the glacier can be seen floating around the lake during summer.
Jökulsárlón glacial lake in summer
In the intro of A view to a Kill, the lake served as setting for Siberia, where Bond finds the body of 003 and recovers a microchip originating from the Soviet Union. Upon his return Q analyses the microchip, establishing it to be a copy of one designed to withstand an electromagnetic pulse and made by government contractor Zorin Industries.
The frozen lake was featured again for Die Another Day and was now home to the ice palace of Gustav Graves. Bond was invited here by Graves to unveil a new orbital mirror satellite which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development. After Bond discovers that Graves is actually Colonel Moon who used gene therapy technology to change his appearance, he returns to Aston Martin Vanquish to rescue Jinx, who has been captured once again. The villain Zao pursues him in a Jaguar, both cars driving inside the rapidly-melting ice palace.
Gustav Graves Ice Palace
9. Maiden’s Tower, The World Is Not Enough
The Maiden's Tower is an old watch tower lying on a small islet in the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey. According to a popular Turkish legend, an emperor had a much beloved daughter and one day, an oracle prophesied that she would be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday. The emperor, in an effort to thwart his daughter's early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father.
On the 18th birthday of the princess, the emperor brought her a basket of exotic fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding among the fruit bit the young princess and she died in her father's arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden's Tower.
Today, the interior of the tower has been transformed into a popular café and restaurant, with an excellent view of Istanbul. Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day.
Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul
This is the tower where M was taken after her abduction in the film. Bond then gets a signal from her locator card from the Maiden's Tower, but is captured by Elektra's henchmen. Bond is also taken to the tower, where Elektra tortures him with a garrote. Eventually Bond escapes, frees M and kills Elektra.
8. Sugarloaf Mountain, Moonraker
Sugarloaf Mountain is a granite peak located near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. A glass-walled cable car capable of holding 65 passengers, runs along a 1400-metre route between the peaks of Pão de Açúcar and Morro da Urca every 20 minutes.
Sugarloaf Mountain cable car
In the film, Jaws attempts to kill 007 and Dr. Holly Goodhead on this cable car. However, Bond and Goodhead escape and Jaws collides with the building at the bottom of the cable car route, demolishing the building but escaping unscathed.
Jaws and 007 fighting on top of the cable car
7. Meteora, For Your Eyes Only
The Metéora is a complex of six monasteries that are built on natural sandstone rock pillars in central Greece. They were built by monks who originally lived in complete solitude in hollows and fissures in the rock towers. In the 14th century they founded the first monastery on Broad Rock, which were perfect for the monks; they were safe from Turkish raiders and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. The only means of reaching it was by climbing a long ladder, which was drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened. Soon several other monasteries were built on nearby rock pillars..
Monastery of the Holy Trinity
The monastery of the Holy Trinity was featured in the film as St Cyril's, an abandoned mountaintop monastery. Villain Kristatos used it as a hideout after stealing the ATAC system. Bond climbs the rock wall to break into the monastery and recovers ATAC after the usual fighting.
Roger Moore as 007 climbing to St Cyril's
6. Contra Dam, GoldenEye
The Contra Dam is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in Switzerland. The dam supports the 105 MW Verzasca Hydroelectric Power Station hydroelectric power station and was constructed between 1961 and 1965. Contra Dam is a concrete slender arch dam with a height of 220 m (720 ft) and crest length of 380 m (1,250 ft). The dam is 25 m (82 ft) wide at its base and 7 m (23 ft) wide at its crest.
The opening scene of GoldenEye featured Bond jumping off the dam. The dam doubled as the fictional Arkhangelsk Chemical Weapons Facility located in the northern Soviet Union during the Cold War. The stunt performed by British stuntman Wayne Michaels was voted as best movie stunt of all time in a 2002 poll.
Soon after GoldenEye was released, the dam owners started to lease access to the dam to a commercial bungee jump operator. Since then, over 10,000 people have jumped the 220 m (720 ft) from the dam.
Bond is about to jump off the dam
5. Udaipur: Octopussy
Udaipur, and in particular the Lake Palace and the Monsoon Palace, has been the shooting location for the Indian sections of Octopussy.
Lake Palace was built as a royal summer palace in the 18th century. It stands on a natural foundation of rock in Lake Pichola, and covers the whole island. This makes it look like it’s floating on the lake. By the later half of the 19th century, time and weather took their toll on the palace, and it was abandoned. In the 1960’s Bhagwat Singh, the new owner of the palace, decided to transform it into a luxury hotel. The hotel operates a speed boat which transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace.
The Lake Palace
In the movie, the floating palace is the residence of Octopussy, a wealthy woman who leads the Octopus cult. Her circus troupe is used by villain Kamal Khan to smuggle Soviet treasures into western Europe.
The Monsoon Palace is a hilltop residence overlooking the city of Udaipur. It offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes (also Lake Pichola), palaces and surrounding countryside. Encircled by Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, it is now under the control of the Forest Department of the Government of Rajasthan and has been opened to the public recently.
The Monsoon Palace
The palace, built with white marble, was basically an astronomical centre to keep track of the movement of monsoon clouds in the area. It was also meant to serve as a resort for the royal family. The Palace was used as a major location for the filming and appears as the residence of Kamal Khan. The final battle in the courtyard, the night-time visit by a Soviet helicopter and the hunt on elephants as 007 escapes from the Palace are all shot here on location.
Although a significant part of the film involves Bond eating dinner inside the palace, skirting between rooms, and features a grand staircase, these were not shot inside the Monsoon Palace although the film implied so.
4. Grandhotel Pupp, Casino Royale
The Grandhotel Pupp is a 228-room luxury hotel located in Carlsbad, Czech Republic. The hotel acted as the Casino Royale in Montenegro where Bond plays the most famous poker game in movie history. Need to say more?
3. Arecibo Telescope: GoldenEye
The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. With a diameter of 1,000 ft (305 m), the radio telescope has the largest curved focusing dish on Earth. The dish surface is made of perforated aluminium panels supported by a mesh of steel cables. The ground underneath is accessible and supports shade-tolerant vegetation. The receiver is on a 900-ton platform suspended above the dish by cables running from three reinforced concrete towers.
In Goldeneye the radio telescope is pictured as a satellite control centre in the Cuban jungle. When searching for this installation by plane, Bond and his companion Simonova are shot down in the middle of the jungle. After a fight with Xenia Onatopp, they watch a lake being drained of water, uncovering the satellite dish. They infiltrate the control station, where Bond is captured. Trevelyan reveals his plan to rob the Bank of England before erasing all of its financial records with the remaining GoldenEye, concealing the theft and destroying Britain's economy.
Bond escapes and sabotages the antenna by jamming the gears, preventing control of the satellite, and then fights Trevelyan. The two end up on the antenna platform, 500 feet above the dish, where Bond kicks Trevelyan off the side of the platform.
Trevelyan just before 007 lets him fall to death
2. Piz Gloria, On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Piz Gloria is a panoramic revolving restaurant at the summit of Schilthorn mountain (2,970 metre) overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss canton of Bern. The restaurant revolves a full 360 degrees in 55 minutes. The location can be reached by cable car from the village of Mürren.
In the movies, the building poses as a clinical allergy-research institute in the Swiss Alps. There Bond meets twelve young women, the "Angels of Death", who are patients at the institute's clinic, apparently cured of their allergies. At night Bond discovers the ladies going into a sleep-induced trance while villain Blofeld gives them audio instructions for when they are discharged and return home. The women are being brainwashed to distribute bacteriological warfare agents throughout various parts of the world.
Bond eventually makes his escape by skiing down Piz Gloria while Blofeld and his men give chase.This famous black ski run starts at the summit and leads down to the Engetal below Birg. Quite a number of scenes in the film were photographed by cameraman John Jordan, hanging below a speeding helicopter.
007 trying to escape
1. Khao Phing Kan: The Man with the Golden Gun
The infuence of the Bond franchise on this islands on the west coast of Thailand was so big, that after the release in 1974 it was called James Bond Island. Even the locals rarely use the original name anymore. Khao Phing Kan consists of two forest-covered islands with steep shores. They lie in the north-western part of the Phang Nga Bay, some 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the main land, amidst a group of a dozen of other islands. The islands has a few caves and two sandy beaches.
James Bond Island
The island was chosen as the hideout for the elite assassin Francisco Scaramanga. When Bond arrives on the island by seaplane, he is welcomed by Scaramanga, who shows him the high-tech solar power plant he has taken over. While demonstrating the equipment, Scaramanga uses a powerful solar beam to destroy Bond's plane.
Scaramanga then proposes a pistol duel with Bond on the beach; the two men later stand back to back and take twenty paces, but when Bond turns and fires, Scaramanga has vanished. This leads Bond into a funhouse where Bond poses as a mannequin of himself to take Scaramanga by surprise and kills him as he walks by.
The Scaramanga duel