The third series of BBC’s The Musketeers is set to be the last. Let’s take a look back at some of the stunning locations that have brought Alexandre Dumas’ Paris back to life. Many of The Musketeers filming locations are interesting places in their own right, bringing together fictional drama and intriguing true history.
The Czech Republic has long been a filming location favourite. Prague alone has stood in for Vienna, Victorian London, and has even played Paris before – in the Richard E. Grant miniseries, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The city’s wonderfully preserved streets meant that the Musketeers’ production team were spoilt for choice when they went location hunting.
Charming, cobbled Liliova Street is just one of the Musketeers’ haunts, and it couldn’t be easier to visit. Located in the old town, the street sends you back in time while also playing host to upmarket modern restaurants, shops and hotels. So in a roundabout way, you can stay overnight in Dumas’ Paris. Nearby Husova Street provided The Musketeers with two filming locations. Clam-Gallas Palace provided parts of the Louvre, while further along the street a priest met a violent end at the hands of Milady in Prague’s Church of St. Jilji (St. Giles).
The rustic streets of Doksany, a small Bohemian town just outside Prague, has provided The Musketeers with down-to-earth filming locations. You can catch it onscreen when D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis are outside palace walls, including the quartet’s favourite haunts like the courtyard.
The palace of Ploskovice has been used extensively for Louvre scenes, including interior shots, but you will almost certainly recognise its distinctive archways and ornate façade. This palace’s elegance can be traced back to Duchess Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg, who once called it home.
A fortress built by the Habsburgs, Terezin, stands in for other parts of the Louvre – notably it provided the filming location for the network of tunnels beneath the palace. Those tunnels are accessible on certain tours, but visitors should prepare themselves for a thought-provoking trip. This complex hides a chilling secret. It was used as a Jewish concentration camp during World War II, and the site is now largely dedicated to memorializing its tragic history.
However, other Musketeers filming locations reflect a broader view of the Czech Republic’s heritage. One of these is the opulent Strahov Monastery in the centre of Prague, which has appeared a number of times. The Strahov Library is particularly recognizable, and as luck would have it, it’s open to visitors throughout the year and looks just as stately as it appears onscreen. In fact, the library is so recognisable that you would be forgiven for expecting the King to stroll past at any moment.
Rococo paradise Chateau Dobris gives the Louvre its formal gardens. Although only certain parts of the estate appear onscreen, this Central Bohemian residence looks every bit like a French chateau. Visitors to the chateau can tour the house’s most stately rooms, its gallery or even hear about its ghosts. And if those ghosts haven’t put you off, you can stay overnight as a hotel guest.
Zvikov Castle is another recognisable Musketeers location. Going by certain camera angles, you would spot the castle in the middle of the lake right away, though it doesn’t always take on such a distinctive character. Zvikov Castle was seen in the seventh episode of Series 1 when we see the Countess Ninon De Larroque accused of witchcraft. As if that wasn’t enough, the same location plays a Spanish prison in Series 2, and the interiors also transformed into Cardinal Richelieu’s office.
You might also recognise this striking location from the aforementioned adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, where it appears under several different guises. These recent onscreen appearances aren’t Zvikov Castle’s biggest claim to fame though. The castle is famous as the ancient seat of the Czech rulers, and for a long time the crown jewels were held here.
Look for the Abbey of Kladruby just outside the city of Prague. It has appeared in some The Musketeers’ grandest ceremonial scenes – this Baroque abbey was the filming location of Cardinal Richelieu’s funeral, and the christening in the second episode of Series 2.
The Benedictine Monastery’s history actually reaches back almost a thousand years, through destruction, reconstruction and deadly rivalries, making this yet another fascinating filming locations from The Musketeers. It is open to the public, who are welcome to attend services and events hosted within its walls to experience its unique atmosphere for themselves.