Blenheim Palace

Gulliver's Travels

When I saw the movie poster of Gulliver’s travels for the first time, it got me interested. Not only that Jack Black stars in it because I’ve always liked watching his movies but also it’s one of the best classic novels of all time.

The movie is centered on Lemeul Gulliver (Jack Black), a man who works in a mail room of a New York City newspaper. Gulliver, who’s a man with no confidence, had a long time crush on journalist Darcy Silverman ( Amanda Peet). Urged by a colleague to ask her out, he went to go for it but got cold feet on the last minute and ended up convincing Darcy he was interested in writing a report about his (false) extensive world travels. The next day, Darcy, impressed by his writing, presents Gulliver with a new task – to travel to the Bermuda Triangle and write an article confirming that the legend of ships mysteriously disappearing in the area being caused by extraterrestrials is not true. Upon arrival in Bermuda, Gulliver rents a boat and travels into the triangle. After falling asleep at the helm of his ship, he’s caught in a freak storm and the boat is overwhelmed by a waterspout. He washes up unconscious on the shore of Lilliput.

From this part of the movie on, was where the glorious Blenheim palace was featured.

Blenheim Palace is a monumental stately homesituated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It was commissioned by Queen Anne as a gift for John Churchill for his triumph over the French at the Battle of Blenheim. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. The palace was built between 1705 and 1724 and today it is known to be, one of the largest palaces in the England. UNESCO recognized the palace as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The architect responsible for this magnificent structure was John Vanbrugh, who was then a playwright and less experienced architect.

The palace, one of the most famous filming locations in England, features an English baroque style. The structure has avery massive form because it was designed to be viewed at a distance. The grand main entry of the palace highlights a large archway and a clock tower at the back that will never fail to make the eyes of the viewer go towards the center. At the south façade of the palace, as seen from the inner courtyard, stands out a great portico with an ornate pediment. The palace also features many statues-in-the-round, on rooftops, at the garden and along corridors.


As if the exterior isn’t opulent enough, the interior showcasesa much elaborated decoration. The palace has one of the most beautifully carved walls, hand paintings on the ceilings, intricate carvings, lovely porcelain collection, paintings in every room and tapestries.


Because of the short-lived style of English Baroque, buildings made in this movement are very rare. Thus, the Blenheim palace certainly is a treasure of the architectural heritage.



by Colleen Ann Pontigon 2011-13653



By Rochelle Tolentino



Star Movies or HBO? I can’t remember where I first watch BECOMING JANE. At first, I was hooked by the fact that the leading actress is Anne Hathaway. I like her as an actress and it started when I watch her other movie princess diary. Both of her movies have some setting in castle. But on this writing, I like to give details on the movie Becoming Jane. When I first encountered the title, the first question that flashed in my head is “who is Jane”. I thought that this movie is just a fiction story. I’m not really familiar of this movie but as time flies and as I watched it many times already, I had the idea that the Jane referring in the movie is Jane Austen. With that, I realised that it’s based on the true story of Jane Austen.

This movie focused young Jane’s love story. Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) is the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs Austen and she has not yet married. Until she met Thomas Lefroy (James McAvoy) a promising lawyer with a bad reputation. Jane found him arrogant. But then they soon seemed comfortable with each other’s company. Afterwards, they fell to each other. But then again, a wealthy Lady Gresham set an engagement between her nephew, Mr Wisley and Jane. In addition to that, Tom’s uncle, a rich man who funds for Tom’s allowance, didn’t want Jane for his nephew. So because Jane and Tom loved each other they planned to elope. However, on their way, the carriage they were riding was stocked. So Tom volunteered to help, and then he gives his coat to Jane. With that, Jane saw what was on Tom’s coat, a letter from his family which gave her realization about his situation. Tom was the only person that supports his family. Jane decided to back out and returned home. They both separate and don’t see each other again. Twenty years later, Jane attended a gathering and there she saw Tom about to leave. Her brother Henry tried to catch him and brought him to her. But Jane was surprised when she saw tom’s daughter. The young girl tried to convince Jane to do a reading because she is a fan of her but Jane refused it. However, the young girl object, then suddenly Tom silenced her by saying “Jane!” Tom named his daughter Jane and after Jane Austen realised it she conceded to do a reading. They were in a couch with Jane reading a book which turns to be the Pride and Prejudice.Image

The story focused on realism because in the first place it served as a biography of Jane Austen. And to add for the realistic story is the setting. The movie was shot in Dublin, Ireland in contrast to the real birthplace of Jane Austen which is Hampshire, England. According to the director the decision of filming the movie in Ireland was due to the fact, “Hampshire now is groomed and manicured and what we were able to find in Ireland was a sense of countryside that felt more unchanged”. Dublin has beautiful scenery which adds to the romantic atmosphere in the movie. It may also one of the factors that give Jane an inspiration to write. The director also likes the sense of landscape in Dublin because Jane Austen grew up with that kind of environment.

Eve Stewart, the production designer, read about Austen’s life and a wide range of literature from the 1790s Regency England period. Because the decorative styles of the period were mostly for function, whitewash and simple colors were used on the set, as well as wallpaper, was becoming more common to all levels of society. Furniture was mostly basic wooden pieces with a few upholstered pieces. Stewart found the perfect set for the Austen family home in County Meath. The house has only one bedroom so Stewart created couple of rooms to look like the Austen’s house. Higginsbrook House shows the manner in which the Austen family lived.

Higginsbrook belongs to the Grays who inherited it from Christopher Gray’s great aunt since 1970. The house itself was built circa 1747, thus older than Jane Austen herself, it was built by Joseph and Ralph Higgins. Higginsbrook House is a Georgian style house. The house seems bigger on the outside but the interior is just middle-sized house. It has a box-shaped and strictly in symmetrical layout. Its windows are usually rectangular and evenly spaced. There are chimneys in both end of the roof. Additional distinguishing feature of the house is the pediment above the door.
I realised from watching the movie that the love she experienced and the environment from where Jane Austen grew up is one of the factor that brought Jane the inspiration to write.


The Architecture in The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is a film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler about King George VI (Colin Firth) and his difficulty in overcoming a stammer. He sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) and they become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new King relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast on Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

The film features many historical places such as the Wembley Stadium where the first scene of the film took place, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral Castle and the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster. But the standout for me would be the Westminster Abbey.

The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster or Westminster Abbey is a Gothic church in Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is a traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, British and monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. It is a Royal Peculiar and briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1540 to 1550.

When I first saw the part of the movie about the coronation, I instantly knew that it was in the Westminster Abbey. First, it is because I knew the history of the abbey of being a place for coronation for monarchs and second, its structure is very unique and it cannot be easily forgotten when you have already seen it. Although it is in a Gothic style and most people would be a little uneasy about it, I find it elegant and not creepy at all. There is something about the pointed arches and high ceilings that gives me the impression of royalty and elegance. It is indeed a vision of the British monarch.


By Joelle Anne Ecito 2011-14984

Longford castle- Princess Diaries 1 & 2 (Jai Lawan)

                                                     “You cannot teach your heart to love”

Princess Diaries 2 is one of the movies I never get tired of watching. I first watched this movie when I was still in highschool. Though its weird, I actually watch part 2 before I got to watch the first part. The first part was about this ordinary, nerdy looking girl, played by Anne Hathaway, who lived a simple life and later on figured out that she had a whole country waiting for her after college. She was so surprised when she learned about it and she could not believe that she is a princess. A princess who will soon be a queen. She was totally not ready for it. Not like other girls, she never even thought of being a princess.
On this movie the Longford Castle was used as the “Genovian castle”. Its where Princess Mia and her grandmother lived. In the movie it was a really big castle with a very big garden area. Although it was really nice, I wouldn’t want to live there since its too big, I might not see my family even more.

Longford Castle, about 160 hectares, is located in a rural area.To the north the site is bounded by the flood plains of the River Avon, engineered during the 17th century. To the east the site is bounded by farmland, with Alderbury village beyond it.

 Key information:
Form of site: country estate
Purpose of site: Ornamental
Context or principal building: castle
Site Style : formal
Site first created: 1578 to 1591
Main period of development: 18th century
Survival: Extant
Site Size (Hectares): 160

                                  The Longford estate was bought by Sir Thomas Gorges in 1574 which was  originally owned by the Cervingtons.  In about 1578-91 he built Longford Castle to an unusual triangular design by the architect John Thorpe, and formal gardens were laid out to its south and east fronts. The main building had several floors and was triangular with a round tower in each corner; the three towers representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. There was a chapel, kitchen department, several boudoirs and sitting rooms, as well as bedrooms. Fresh cold water was pumped to various floors and there were water closets operating with rainwater. A park, fruit garden and kitchen garden were attached. Due to the damages caused by the civil war,at around 1654, the gardens were restores for Lord Coleraine, who had bought Longford from the Gorges family in 1641. At about 1680,detailed engravings were made on the the gardens of longford by the artist Robert Thacker.

Going back to the story, on the second part of princess diaries, Princess Mia has just turned 21 and is supposed to succeed her grandmother as the Queen of Genovia. But Viscount Mabrey who wishes that his nephew who is also in line to the throne to be the new ruler, reminds everyone of a law that states that an unmarried woman can’t be made queen, and with the backing of parliament, he opposes Mia’s coronation. But Queen Clarice asks that Mia be allowed time to find a husband, and she is given 30 days. But Mabrey tries to do what he can to stop that. But his nephew, Nicholas has met Mia and they are both attracted to each other but Mia upon learning who he is, dislikes and doesn’t trust him but Clarice has invited him to stay with them for the 30 days period to keep an eye on him. She followed what her granmother suggested. She tried getting along with Nicholas. At first she tried avoiding him but then Nicholas kept on following her. Later on disregarding the thought they’ve somehow just been set up, they fell for each other. Things were going well but then Nicholas’ uncle had bad plans for Princess Mia. He wanted to set her up to show to the public that she does not have any potential of being a princess. All the while Princess Mia thought that it was all Nicholas’ ideas. So she left him thinking that he set her up for the public to know her flaws. She looked for another guy, and her grandmother helped her.

Again she set herself up with a guy. She picked a random guy whom she could marry, since she needed to get married soon. Yes she found a decent guy. A very respectable guy, and she taught herself to love him. She knew that she needed to do this as a duty to be crowned as queen. Things went well and she thought that she actually learned how to love instantly. As planned, of after 3o days, she must get married, they started arranging their marriage. Until the day everyone’s been waiting for came, the day that Princess Mia will get married to her so called prince charming. While walking to the aisle she felt like something was wrong.  She then calls off the wedding and makes the members of parliament abolish the law that a queen needs a husband.
On the day of her coranation Mia is both excited and disappointed that she has lost what may her big chance at true love But Nicholas shows up in the throne room and tells her he loves her.Finally Mia is crowned queen of Genovia . The end ! hihi 🙂

Made By: Ruth Jireh M. Lawan 2011-31012


Battle of Wits

By Ron Vincent R. Delos Angeles


March 13, 2012 at 11:05 A.M.

Science and magic can never combine, even if magic do exist.

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film) is an action packed mystery film based on a character created by the renown Scottish physician and author, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes is known for his impeccable wit and rationale. The film stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson respectively. In the film, Holmes and his companion Watson, with aid from former adversary Irene Adler, investigate a series of murders connected to occult rituals. Mark Strong plays the villain Lord Blackwood, who has somehow returned after his execution with a plot to take over the British Empire using an arsenal of dark arts and new technologies.


I chose this movie because I love mystery and adventure films like the The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure. My first choice of movie was The Da Vince Code but I disregarded the idea because for me there is so much architecture shown in the movie and also it was because one of my classmate already featured it.

This movie, Sherlock Holmes, featured three of the most prominent architecture in England: the Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Palace of Westminster.

First up, the tower bridge called the Tower of London. It has become the iconic symbol of London. It was originally the only crossing for the Thames. As London grew, so more bridges were added, although these were all built to the west of London Bridge, since the area east of London Bridge had become a busy port. In the 19th century, the East End of London became so densely populated that public need mounted for a new bridge to the east of London Bridge, as journeys for pedestrians and vehicles were being delayed by hours. Finally in 1876, the City of London Corporation, responsible for that part of the Thames, decided the problem could be delayed no longer.

Here is a screen cap of the Tower of London under construction in the movie. The tower bridge is also the setting for the last battle between Sherlock Holmes and Lord Blackwood (main protagonist). Image

Another screen cap of the movie wherein Sherlock Holmes and Lord Blackwood fight over the cyanide vessels.


Next we have is the Big Ben. Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It actually refers to the clock or the clock tower as well. Its official name is Parliament Clock Tower and also known as St. Stephen’s tower. The clock tower, also the Palace of Westmister, features a Gothic style of architecture.


Big Ben played the part as the signal for the release of the cyanide gas from the basement of the Palace of Westminster. That moment when the clock had struck twelve, Lord Blackwood had pressed the signal to release the cyanide gas to kill all of the lords of England, and the Parliament.

Here is the screen cap of the the Big Ben in the movie.


Lastly, the main and prominent architecture featured is the Palace of Westminster.  The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons. As stated earlier, the Palace features a Perpendicular Gothic architecture designed by Charles Barry. The Palace of Westminster that we see today is not the original one that was built in 1512. There was a great fire that destroyed the most of the palace in 1834 and was redesigned by the architect Charles Barry.

Here is an exterior painting of the Palace of Westminster before the Great Fire.


Here is the present structure of the Palace.


As stated earlier, the Palace of Westminster houses the Parliament, which is why in the movie, it was the best setting for the plot of Lord Blackwood of killing all of the Lords of England. The whole parliament will die of choking after inhaling the cyanide gas released from the basement of the Palace, set up by Blackwood’s men.

Here is the screen cap of the lords of England inside the Palace of Westminster.


To add, the movie also showed some Rococo-style of interior.

Here is the screen cap from the movie featuring the room of Holmes’ adversary, Irene Adler.Image

Elegance and drama is featured in the interior, just the same that you would expect from a Rococo-style of room. From the ceiling, to the walls, even to the intricate designs of the pieces of furniture, elegance, beauty and drama is truly present.


The Moulin Rouge!

Pamela Nery


March 13, 2012 at 10:56 A.M.



The movie, named after the famed cabaret where it was set, presents to its viewers the story of the poor English poet Christian and the “Sparkling Diamond” of the Moulin Rouge Satin as they pursue after their dreams and their love.  In its own musical, indulgent and extravagant way, the film shows the spirit that the Moulin Rouge embodied. It was the place for the rich to be surrounded by mirrors and loose women as they danced together on the massive dance floor.



It opened its doors on October 6, 1889 at the foot of Butte Montmartre under the management of Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler. The latter being the inspiration for a character in the movie itself. The very owners of the place called it “Le Premier Palais des Femmes” or  “The First Palace of Women” with the beautiful Chahuteuses or can-can dancers scantily clad as they showed their flexibility and energy. A famous painter, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, even immortalized a scene from this very place in his painting entitled La Goulue.

La Goulue by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


Its name when translated to English is “Red Mill” which is one of the main features found on its very façade which was designed by Adolphe Willette. The use of the windmill originates in the history of the hill on which it was built upon. In the past, Montmartre was dotted with windmills for flour but also served as dance halls.

Other than the red mill, it also featured a gothic tower and a garden with an elephant. The wooden elephant was added in 1900 for the Exhibition Universelle. It served as a location for the male patrons to enjoy as belly dancers performed on a stage put inside the creature’s stomach. The inside of the elephant was supposedly decorated with arabesque décor and was possibly Indian-inspired in theme due to the type of dances shown inside. This feature was scrapped when it was later rebuilt. The gothic tower to the left of the façade was also supposed to serve a purpose similar to the elephant’s. It was thought of as a place where wealthy clientele would be able to use the Moulin Rouge’s brothel services. The architectural style of the tower is one that was commonly used during the 19th century.  It used Gothic Revival with its pointed arch windows and the use of quatrefoils.





Now, the reason why the Moulin Rouge became so popular even on its first night was not only because it had such extravagant features, but also because these very features were brightened up with light bulbs. Charles Zidler loved electricity and made the Moulin Rouge shine in the darkness of the night by being one of the first parts of the district to have electricity. The fact that the windmill’s sails actually turned as it lighted up definitely served as one of the eye catchers for 19th century party-goers.



As mentioned earlier, the interior’s dance hall was full of mirrors. Now it is a theater with a stage for the renowned displays of the dancers for guests to watch as they dine. Inside they have Morris columns which were probably used in the past to advertise and now as a way to display the various shows that were once held in the cabaret by many known artists and performers.



I’ve said earlier that the movie seems to capture the spirit of the Moulin Rouge during the 19th century. Even from the opening of the movie, it showed just the conditions into which the Moulin Rouge managed to rise up from.  Dark alleys, shady characters and dingy looking buildings that provided the perfect backdrop for the wealthy and aristocratic to slip into the night and join with the underground life of the less fortunate Parisians despite the irony of being on the highest point in Paris. It was set during a time when the boundaries between social classes blurred a wealthy duke could indulge in using his money and time to fund the transformation of an ill-reputed establishment to an actual theater where the star is one of the most sought after courtesans. The insanity, glamour, humor and tragedy in the movie reflected that of the Moulin Rouge. From the gothic tower to the giant (and almost ridiculous) elephant in the garden shows an odd shift in mood, the architecture and design makes it obvious that this place was a bit of a mad house with people letting their more carnal desires have free reign over their actions. The Moulin Rouge is not only historic due to the events that occurred in it, but also because of how it recorded the 19th century Paris, and specifically Montmartre, through its architectural design.


1. Meakin, A. Moulin Rouge: History Behind Pigalle’s Red Cabaret.

2. Moulin Rouge Official Site.

3. Rohan, A. History of the Moulin Rouge Cabaret

4. Martin, C. Behind The Red Velvet Curtain Commentary. Moulin Rouge! DVD Special Feature

Cliveden House is Sherlocked!

Many words have been synonymous to Great Britain – royalty, colonialism, tea, Mr. Bean – but what really stuck with me was “Sherlock Holmes”. This character, this icon of deduction, was from a series of novels made by one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story of the “world’s only consulting detective” has captured the inquisitive hearts of many, its fame continuing on far after the author’s death. The enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes led to the creation of hundreds of works based on the character – both adaptations into other media and original stories.


One of these adaptations is the 2009 film creatively named (yes, hear my sarcasm) Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie. In the film, Holmes (portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr.) and his partner/friend Dr. Watson (portrayed by Jude Law), with the help of former adversary Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), investigate a series of murders related to occult rituals. Lord Blackwood (played by Mark Strong), supposedly dead, has somehow returned with a plot to take over the British Empire using an arsenal of dark arts and new technologies. The wit of Holmes as well as the twists and turns of the plot, the mystery of the occult and science, thrilled me.

One scene in the film featured Cliveden House in Berkshire as the “Grand Hotel, Piccadilly Circus”, where Sherlock Holmes had an, ahem, interesting encounter with Ms. Adler. Needless to say, it ended with Adler leaving Holmes tied to the bed, naked, to eventually be found by the maid. Indecent exposure, indeed.

Holmes tied by Ms. Adler... talk about akward...

Holmes tied to the suite's bed... talk about akward...

Cliveden is an Italianate mansion and estate at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. Set on banks 40 metres above the River Thames, its grounds slope down to the river. The site has been home to an Earl, two Dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor. Cliveden was built more than 300 years ago by the Duke of Buckinghamshire, described as a “famous rake, a schemer and a wit”. His spirit must have cast a racy spell over this house, because it has been connected with power, politics and scandal ever since (which was rather appropriate for the scene in the film, hehe), an example being Profumo-Christine Keeler Affair – a great sex and politics scandal of the 1960s.

Cliveden House, aerial view

Cliveden House, aerial view

The house was originally built in 1670 by William Winde. It was badly damaged by fire in 1795, and was left to moulder for 30 years. It was eventually rebuilt, but another fire in 1849 destroyed much of the original structure. Sir Charles Barry designed a new Italianate building in 1850 for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland.

Barry’s three-story central block curves outward to join 18th century wings designed by Thomas Archer. The interior was altered in the 1870s from Barry’s design, and the clock tower and stable block added.

Cliveden House Interior

The fame of Cliveden skyrocketed when it was purchased by William Waldorf Astor, in 1893 the richest man in America. The interior was remodelled yet again, to set off Astor’s fine furniture and tapestries. His aim was to make the interior as much like an Italian palazzo as possible, which would complement the exterior. The ceiling and walls were panelled in English oak, with Corinthian columns and swags of carved flowers for decoration, all by architect Frank Pearson. The room was and still is furnished with eighteenth-century tapestries and suits of armour. The French Dining Room is so called because the eighteenth-century Rococo panelling (or boiseries) came from the Chateau d’Asnieres near Paris. The second largest room on the ground floor, after the Great Hall, was the drawing room which today is used as the hotel’s main dining room. This room, which has views over the Parterre and Thames, was redecorated in 1995 by Eve Stewart, with terracotta-coloured walls, gilded columns and trompe l’oeil shelves of books. The ceiling is painted to resemble clouds and three Bohemian glass chandeliers hang from it.

Between the two world wars Cliveden was at the centre of political and social activity, and the 2nd Viscount Astor and Lady Astor made Cliveden a popular gathering place for influential people who became known as “the cliveden set”. In 1942 Viscount Astor gave Cliveden to the National Trust.

The house is surrounded by 375 acres of superb landscape gardens, including a Rose Garden designed by noted English garden expert Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. The gardens also feature the Canadian War Memorial Garden, the Ilex Grove, Amphitheatre, River Walk and the Yew Tree Walk.

The grounds are also notable for their delightful statuary, with the most prominent feature being the sculpted “Fountain of Love”. Parts of the gardens date back to the 16th century, though most are of more recent vintage, and much of the statuary was added by the Astors.

The house itself is now run as a hotel, and only three rooms are open to the public, but the gardens are maintained by the National Trust.


Jessamyne Roux B. Ado



Architecture in History

By Anginella Andal

Three things are important in history: the time the event took place, the people who participated in the event, and the place where the event was set. Architecture as the setting is important in the making of history. It is a witness to important events and changing times. Architecture should be treated as more than just the setting of an event because it is part of the event itself.


In the movie adaptation of the highly controversial book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, the role of architecture is significant. The smallest architectural details are keys to uncovering clues on the truth about Jesus Christ and of Christianity. The protagonists carefully observed every moulding in the buildings. These mouldings or motifs had different meanings, and heavy symbolisms.

The structure with the greatest importance in the film is the Louvre Pyramid which is located in the center of the Louvre Museum. The Louvre Museum was originally a palace; it was converted into a museum in the late 18th century and the pyramid was added in 1989. The Louvre Pyramid stands 24 meters high, is made up of glass held by crisscrossing steel frames, and serves as the main entrance to the Louvre museum. Here, the famous Mona Lisa of Leonardo Da Vinci can be found.


The structure's translucent characteristic allows a person to see the building behind it.

The glass pyramid harmonizes well with the old buildings that surround it. Its translucent characteristic allows a person to see the building behind it, and the glass reflects the material of the buildings therefore making it blend in. The most remarkable thing about the Louvre Pyramid’s design is the simplicity of its form. It deviates from the rectangular buildings in its surroundings and therefore efficiently distinguishes and emphasizes the entrance to the museum. It is a perfect combination of classic and modern, of old and of new ideas. It is based on the ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, and its geometric form is in harmony with other famous landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. The mere choice of construction material makes it look modern. The glass façade permits daylight to fill up the place. At night, it is illuminated by a soft yellow light which mimics the color of the buildings around it.


The Louvre Pyramid at night.

The Louvre Pyramid was highlighted in the film. Evidently, it was the setting of the first and last scenes. Inside the glass pyramid, a smaller, inverted glass pyramid can be found. And almost touching its tip is another pyramid, this time made of stone. According to the film, these are symbols for the blade and chalice, the male and female, respectively. Supposedly, the stone pyramid extends underground and forms a room that contains the Holy Grail. Its design was manipulated in such way that new meanings were formed.

“The Holy Grail ‘neath ancient Roslin waits
The blade and chalice watch o’er her gates
Adorned by masters loving art she lies
As she rests beneath the starry skies.”


The inverted glass pyramid inside the Louvre.

The film The Da Vinci Code emphasizes the importance and contribution of art and architecture to history. Though the film is pure fiction, it still says a lot about appreciating art and architecture, what one can gain from looking into details. It also stresses how architecture enhances an occurrence, and how it is so much more than just a space.


Treasure in Buckingham Palace

National treasure 2 : Nicolas Cage(Ben Gates), Justin Bartha(Riley Poole), Diane Kruger as (Abigail Chase)

Once again Ben Gates is set for a new adventure in another treasure hunting in the sequel of the box office hit National Treasure. Indeed a very interesting movie that you might not wanna miss any scenes. Just like the puzzled clues, scenes provides clues for the treasure that also set viewers to watch it until the end.

In the movie Thomas Gates(great – great  grandfather of Ben) was accused in being a conspirator and mastermind in Lincoln’s assassination. To prove the innocence of his great – great grandfather, Ben must find the hidden treasure Thomas decode from a puzzle. From the  code that Thomas found, Ben along with Riley and Abi followed the clues which brought them to the different historical landmarks in the world.

One of their destination is the official London residence of British Monarch, the Buckingham Palace. Here a little information:

Buckingham palace

Buckingham Palace was constructed in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham and served as the residence of Queen Charlotte in 1761. But it was in the reign of Queen Victoria that it became the official Royal residence. Many renovation were as the throne was passed. 77,000 m2 (830,000 sq ft) of floor space, the Buckingham palace contains different rooms that feature different styles like Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Neo-renaissance.

Grand Staircase Throne Room

The Palace is not a private property of the monarchy rather it belongs to the nation and is open for the public viewing. It serves as an art gallery and tourist attraction. The palace can house 50, 000 guests  during garden parties, reception and banquets.

Back in the movie: Buckingham palace was featured in the movie as the next location for another clue. The clue Ben found engraved in the Statue of Liberty in Île aux Cygnes points out a plank hidden on the twin resolute desk, one in the Buckingham Palace and the other is in the Oval office in White House. Ben and Abi sneak in to the queen’s room and discover a secret compartment in the desk that can only be open after you encode the 4 -digit number(1876 as engraved in the statue of liberty). After the 1st plank they proceed to the next destination, The White House and continue their search for the treasure.

Still - cuts from National Treasure: Book of Secrets(movie)

Like other movies some scenes were not filmed in the exact location as where it was in the movie. In the movie scenes that should take place in the Buckingham Palace were filmed in Lancastor House(neo-classical), a mansion in London. Some of those scenes were the fake argument and the queen’s room. Only the facade, gate and the entrance of the Buckingham  Palace were shown in the movie. And like other movies, controversy flew about the twin resolute desk. On what I read there where actually two resolute desk(not identical opposed to the movie), the one in The White House and the other one is in New Bedford Whaling museum and never been in the Buckingham Palace. Some said there are more than 2 resolute desk made from the HMS resolute(ship). So much about how many desk, I wonder if there is really a Hidden compartment(white house’s resolute desk)?

But the real treasure here is the Magnificent architectural styles the Buckingham Palace showcase.

– BALDERAS, LARA FLYNN JOY A. (2011 – 16817) 

ID – 14 (10: 05 am)


For most people, if not all, the idea of a Palace always has been (and always will be) a picture of royalty – with high thrones and diamond-laden crowns and a throng of servants to complete the scene. And as such, despite the turn of the century, it has never failed to draw people to it, myself included.

One such palace that has attracted a multitude of visitors, both local and foreign, is the world-renowned Buckingham Palace. Located at the heart of London, it is the official residence and office of the British monarch.


Originally built for the Duke of Buckingham (Buckingham House) in 1705, it was subsequently acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte (Queen’s House). Although remodelling of the structure soon began the following year, its renovation from a house to a palace with the addition of the three wings enclosing a courtyard began only after the accession of King George IV in 1820 up until the reign of his younger brother King William IV. And upon completion in 1837, on the accession of Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace finally became the principal royal residence of the British monarch making her the very first sovereign to reside there.


Taking inspiration from this, the idea of a period film based upon the early years of the young Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) was conceived. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, The Young Victoria presents the life of the young monarch as she takes on the responsibility of ruling Great Britain and Ireland while taking on higher social protocols as Queen. With her marriage to her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Rupert Friend), they together championed reforms in education, welfare, and industry; and have strongly supported developments of the arts and sciences. Highly influential, their rule was marked by a great period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes within the Empire which to date has been known as the Victorian Era.

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As the story unfolds within the confines of the palace walls, I am but awed with the majestic treatment of its interiors. Curious even as a child pondering on how life must be of the royal and the regal, being able to see the things I was able to learn during the past couple of months (and several years before) is by and large the main reason for such a reaction.


ImageThe Buckingham Palace, being the principal royal residence of the British monarch since Queen Victoria, boasts an expanse of 108 meters long across the front, 120 meters deep (including the quadrangle), and 24 meters high. Composed of about 775 rooms (19 State Rooms, 52 Royal and Guest Bedrooms, 188 Staff Bedrooms, 92 Offices, and 78 Bathrooms), its total floor area from basement to roof covers over 77,000 square meters; while the garden covers over 40 acres which includes a helicopter landing area, a lake, and a tennis court. Notable also is the palace’s own chapel, post office, swimming pool, staff cafeteria, doctor’s surgery and cinema.


 As a living testament to the life lead by those who are called upon to rule Great Britain, the Buckingham Palace serves not only as their residence; but a tangible record of how life must be then and how life it is now for the monarch.