Home > Films > T > The Three Musketeers

Sunday June 16th 2024

The Three Musketeers | 1993

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: the king’s palace: Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria | Photograph: wikimedia / Jebulon

Locations for The Three Musketeers, Nineties-style, were found mainly around Austria (with a little bit of Cornwall). This bratpacky version, from the director of the first Bill and Ted movie, dumps most of the plot (no diamonds, no Buckingham…) leaving it looking just a bit dull alongside Richard Lester’s quirky 70s version, and even Paul WS Anderson’s exuberantly daft 3D version.

The film opens with the cartoonishly evil Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry) arriving at the ‘Parisian’ dungeons by boat on an underground lake.

Although you might have assumed this is a studio tank, it’s actually the Seegrotte, the underground lake in Hinterbrühl, southwest of Vienna.

In 1912, underground blasting in the Hinterbrühl gypsum mine released 20 million litres of water, creating the largest subterranean lake in Europe. The mine remained closed for years, until being rediscovered by a team of cave explorers in the 1930s. It’s subsequently opened as a tourist attraction.

In the heart of Vienna, the palace of the ineffectual French King Louis (Hugh O’Conor) is the Hofburg Palace (Neue Burg). For over 600 years the Hofburg was the residence of the Austrian sovereigns, now home to the government of the democratic Republic of Austria, and its magnificent interior is open to visitors.

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Petronell, Austria
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: the musketeers’ headquarters in ‘Paris’: Petronell, Austria | Photograph: wikimedia / Helmuth Furch

At the Musketeers’ headquarters, Rochefort (Michael Wincott) disbands the King’s guards. They lay down their arms and burn their tabards in the courtyard of Schloss Petronell. This 11th century moated castle, built on the site of the the Roman settlement of Carnuntum, now Petronell-Carnuntum, on the River Danube about 25 miles east of Vienna, was given a Baroque makeover in the 17th Century.

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Windmill, Retz
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: D’Artagnan comes to the aid of Queen Anne: Windmill, Retz | Photograph: wikimedia / Alexander Hammer

Gallumphing through the ‘French’ countryside, D’Artagnan (Chris O’Donnell) valiantly, but mistakenly, comes to the rescue of Queen Anne (Gabrielle Anwar) alongside the Windmill at Retz, about 45 miles northwest of Vienna, near the Czech border, where he becomes smitten with her Lady-in-Waiting, Constance (Julie Delpy).

The only fully functional windmill left in Austria, you can find it just west of the town, on Kalvarienberg, off Windmühlgasse.

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Perchtoldsdorf, Austria
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: the ‘Parisian’ town square: Perchtoldsdorf, Austria | Photograph: wikimedia / Karl Gruber

The streets of ‘Paris’ in which D’Artagnan arrives (and where, later in the film, he comes close to losing his head) were built alongside the village church of Perchtoldsdorf. To the southwest of Vienna, you can reach the town by the Vienna S-Bahn network.

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: D’Artagnan arranges duels with the three musketeers, but ends up fighting alongside them: Landsee Castle, Austria | Photograph: wikimedia / Bwag

When D’Artagnan crosses the path of Athos (Kiefer Sutherland), Porthos (Oliver Platt) and Aramis (Charlie Sheen), he of course manages to challenge each to a duel. The ruins where, rather fighting against them, D’Artagnan joins forces with the Musketeers against the Cardinal’s guards, is the castle of Landsee, 40 miles south of Vienna.

Once the largest medieval fortification in central Europe, the 12th Century castle was destroyed by fire in the 18th century. It’s now picturesquely overgrown by trees and bushes.

After the Musketeers narrowly rescue D’Artagnan from beheading, the four of them gallop off through the countryside – and suddenly we’re in the UK. The woods are Golitha Falls, a nature reserve on the edge of Bodmin Moor, in Cornwall, southwest England, the River Fowey flows in a series of cascades through a steep-sided valley gorge.

The Three Musketeers (1993) location: Liechtenstein Castle, Austria
The Three Musketeers (1993) location: the musketeers come under cannon fire: Liechtenstein Castle, Austria | Photograph: wikimedia / Karl Gruber

It’s quickly back to Austria as they come under cannon fire from Liechtenstein Castle, near Maria Enzersdorf on the edge of the Wienerwald (Viennese Forest). The castle was originally built in the 12th century, later destroyed by the Ottomans, and rebuilt in the 1880s. Today, it’s home to the Nestroy Theatre Festival, held annually during the summer months.

Austria doesn’t have much of a coastline, so when D’Artagnan is rescued by Milady De Winter (Rebecca De Mornay) after collapsing from exhaustion as he rides along the clifftop, it’s back to England and the coast of Cornwall.

The county also supplied the docks of ‘Calais’, where Milady boards the ship to take a treaty to the Duke of Buckingham. It’s the harbour of Charlestown, east of St Austell. The port is also featured in 1976 WWII action drama The Eagle Has Landed and at the end of Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation of Alice In Wonderland.

When her treachery is finally uncovered and she’s sentenced to death, Milady is taken along the clifftops before plummeting to her death at Rumps Point, on the Pentire Headland near Polzeath, over on Cornwall’s north coast.