'Harry Potter': 25 Surprising Facts About Grimmauld Place and the Ministry of Magic

8:02 PM PST 07/19/2011 by Stuart Kemp

Check out the fifth installment of THR's behind-the-scenes look at the Warner Bros. franchise.

12 Grimmauld Place holds a special place in Harry Potter lore. The ancestral home of Sirius Black's family, the property is headquarters to the Order of the Phoenix and was inherited by Harry after Sirius' death.

The Ministry of Magic is the governing body for the British magical community in the Potter franchise and is headed by the Minister of Magic.


Here are some juicy facts and figures about Grimmauld Place and the Ministry of Magic direct from the studio, the filmmakers and the crew:

GRIMMAULD PLACE

1. Grimmauld Place is the ancestral home of Sirius Black's family.
2. All rooms in the set were built separately but on the same stage.
3. The kitchen table was made specially and is 20 feet long and 2 feet, 9 inches wide.
4. All of the china in the kitchen was bought from markets, auctions and second-hand dealers.
5. The Black Family crest, "The Honorable House of Black," was created by the graphics dept. and added to the crockery.

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6. The bedroom is on the second floor of the house and is where Sirius’ mother would have kept her jewelry, hat boxes and collection of fans. The furniture in the bedroom (beds, wardrobe, and dressing table) was bought at auction.
7. There is a painting of the bedroom on the bedroom wall, with unmade beds.
8. The black silk eiderdowns on the beds were made for the film.
9. The fabric used on the hall and stairwell walls was made from 350 meters of dark grey silk bought in from India and then screen-printed in gold. The same pattern was used on the curtains in the drawing room.
10. In the hallway and staircase, the elf heads in glass domes were made by the creature effects department.
11. In the hallway there is a giant troll’s foot umbrella stand. This is a mold of the troll’s foot from the first movie.

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THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC

12. This set took 22 weeks to build.
13. The Ministry of Magic is set underneath the Ministry of Defense in London.
14. 50 London buses could fit inside the Atrium.
15. There are over 30,000 tiles in the Atrium made out of lacquered medium density fiberboard (MDF).
16. The whole set, including boxes and boxes of tiles, were stored at Leavesden Studios in between films.
17. There is a coffee stall called Ministry Munchies, located in the Atrium where wizards can sit at one of twelve (real) marble tables from France while tucking into refreshments such as coffee and bagels.
18. A team of props men regularly polished the wooden floor between takes as it would get so dirty and dusty. 
19. The gold fountain was made of fiberglass and sculpted by the sculpting department at the Studio.

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20. Fourteen offices were built on scaffolding in the Atrium. Weight was a problem in the offices so most of what can be seen (including filing cabinets) is made out of photographic images stuck on cardboard boxes with token bits of real furniture inside.
21. Only stuntmen were allowed in the offices, when it needed to look like people were busy working in them.
22. Forty-two brass oil lamps burning in the office windows were made especially for the film.
23. There are twelve lifts in total (two decks of six lifts) in a semi circle. The lifts go up, down, backwards and forwards.
24. All of the elevators also have control panels on the inside and a scrolling map.
25. The map is an interpretation of the London Underground map, but all the paths are illuminated tubes, with little floats which run through the tubing and show your lift and the other lifts moving around within the complex of the Ministry of Magic. It has a mechanism behind it which controls it. 

 

Sofia M. Fernandez contributed to this report.

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