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Built over a period of 40 years and still incomplete when its founder Sir William St Clair died in 1484, Rosslyn Chapel has long fascinated generations, intrigued by the mysterious symbolism of its ornate stonework which includes angels, Green Men and the inexplicable Apprentice Pillar, still, the impact Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, first as a novel then as a blockbuster film, came as a bit of a surprise, reveals Ian Gardner, director of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust.
From 30,000 visitors a year before the novel was published to 70,000 the year the world was introduced to Robert Langdon on the page and then to 176,000 the year the film came out, the influx when it came was unexpected – click on the image to watch the full interview with Ian Gardner.
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As a result, a decade ago the historic landmark opened its visitor centre, the entry point for those arriving at the site today, which recently included members of the cast of The Da Vinci Code stage play, who followed in the footsteps of Tom Hanks who filmed there for the 2006 Ron Howard movie.
Olivier-award winning actor Nigel Harman, who makes the role made famous by Hanks his own on stage, said of his visit, “It’s arresting and breath-taking to be in Rosslyn Chapel. We’ve been pretending to be here in the play for weeks now so to actually be here is a privilege of the job.”
Harman was joined by Red Dwarf favourite Danny John-Jules, he plays Sir Lee Teabing, who reflected, “It’s going to be great to have a picture in your head of this incredible place while you’re acting.”
Dan Brown himself called Rosslyn Chapel ‘the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth’, a description that looks sure to attract visitors to the mystic site for many years to come.
To book a visit to Rosslyn Chapel, click here
The Da Vinci Code tours to the King's Theatre from April 5-9, tickets here