Paris: the must-see places of the Bourne saga

CIA agent Jason Bourne traverses the world in search of his past. The saga came twice to the capital, during the first and third films, always with a frenetic pace. Take a bit of time to lead the investigation.

Jason Bourne’s Apartment

Still amnesiac, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is surprised to see his name on the doorbell of this building and to be recognized by the custodian.  So he hopes to find some answers to questions about his past in this apartment.  But the tranquility will be of short duration.  In this same avenue, at number 19, is the magnificent Peninsula, sumptuous luxury hotel having temporarily accommodated UNESCO headquarters between 1946 and 1958.

Gare du Nord 

Jason goes to this train station to hide a red bag in one of the baggage checks.  The lockers have since been removed for security reasons.  To prepare for this role, Matt Damon underwent intensive physical training.  He even had just three months to learn Kali, a little known Philippine martial art in order to make his character more credible. 

Saint-Bernard Quay

Accepting Jason’s proposition of $20,000 to take him to Paris, Marie Helena Kreutz (Franka Potente) drives all through the night.  The amnesiac on the run doesn’t know how long the trip takes as he wakes up early morning on this river bank which was also the setting for La Traversée de Paris as we mention in our guide Paris of 1000 cult movies, series, musics, comics and novels locations.

Hôtel de la Paix (closed)

Followed by the police, Jason and Marie take refuge in this little hotel to change their appearance.  This is where their love story begins.  The establishment, in reality called the Hotel Touraine, has since closed up but the façade is still perfectly recognizable from the street.  The director was particularly attracted to this area of the city called Belleville in order to avoid the postcard Paris that everybody knows.

Nykwana Wombosi Palace

The magnificent Baccarat museum serves as the setting for palace of Nykwana Wombosi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).  Jason Bourne has just met him but the dictator is the target of a sniper lying in wait opposite.  It is actually the “professor”, another killer.  The restaurant called the Crystal Room Baccarat, located just next door, appeared in Gossip Girl.

At the Baroudeur Patient

Jason Bourne (Marr Damon) parks just in front of this business in order to go to the Gare du Nord train station across the road.  He comes out in full speed to get away from the police.  The actor is a regular around here as in Ocean’s 12; Matt Damon also shot a scene at this exact spot, in front of the metro entrance.

Morgue

Come to inspect a corpse, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) goes into the Parisian morgue.  Actually, the building filmed is the very beautiful entrance to the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (National Arts and Crafts Conservatory) founded in 1794.  Along with the École polytechnique and the École normale supérieure it is one of three establishments of scientific higher education created by the French Revolution. 

Regina Hotel

Marie goes into this hotel to check out the premises before Jason executes his plan.  The Regina hotel has accommodated the cameras of more than a hundred movies such as Nikita, Kiss of the Dragon, and Sagan.  Inaugurated in 1900, it has 99 rooms in a wide range of styles.

Gare du Nord

In the third film of the series, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) goes via the Gare du Nord to get to London and meet with an investigative journalist.  He had already been through this station in the first opus, The Bourne Identity.

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