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Bruges Movie Scenes (The Nun's Story)

Almost 64 years ago, the great director Fred Zinnemann filmed The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn in Bruges and elsewhere. Regarding the scenes shot in Bruges, I understand the family home is located at Sint-Annarei 22 and the monastery at Potterierei 79.

The movie's final scene (with no music in the background) is well known--Audrey Hepburn leaves the convent, walks down an alley, hesitates when she reaches the street, and then walks to her right. I am assuming this scene was shot in Bruges. Does anyone know where the final scene was shot?

Posted by
437 posts

Mardee, thank you for the information and the time you took to get it. I had a problem seeing that information when I opened up the link, but it seems that I had seen before mention of Blekersstraat near Korte Blekersstraat. But I don't see the location on an online aerial view of Blekersstraat, which is not long.

Posted by
67 posts

In the final scene Sister Luke (Audrey Hepburn) leaves the monastery through a door at Blekerstraat in Bruges. The door was staged however, the building does not exist. The monastery is in another street.

Posted by
437 posts

NSTTSN, thank you. If I understand correctly, the alley she walks down is located off Blekersstraat, but the room she walks out of (or the door she walks through) was built for the movie.

Posted by
7589 posts

Another good movie in the city is "In Bruges", quite a number of shots of the town, even the town bell tower plays a role.

Maybe worth warning, it is a Guy Ritchie movie with a gangster theme, so maybe not everyone's cup of beer.

Posted by
2000 posts

Long ago I have tried to find that door too, but indeed it doesn't exist and built for the movie.

The locations are not far apart from each other, if Sister Luke had kept walking at the very end of that final scene she would have gone straight to the (real) monestry where she started her tragic career. If turning left it was only a few steps to her family home, just around the corner.

Bruges looked so undiscovered and innocent at the time, but that isn't the case anymore.

Posted by
7397 posts

I don't understand why "In Bruges" makes people want to go to Bruges. It's a bleak, unhappy, gangster-film, by a dark-minded director.

Posted by
437 posts

As far as what was online before this discussion, the best source of information may be www.shotonlocation-eng.blogspot.com/2016/08/bruges-belgium.html. It seems the interior scenes were shot in Rome, but there were also exterior shots in Antwerp and Brussels.

The locations of the family home and the convent are well known.

Wil, thank you for the information. I thought that it would take our friends actually living in or near Belgium to answer the question. Again, to avoid any confusion for those looking for where the scene was shot, it seems that for her to walk to both the family home and the convent, we are talking about a left on Blekersstraat (if she is entering the street from the south). At the end of Blekersstraat, she would reach Sint-Annarei-Potterierei. The family home is on the left at that intersection. To go to the convent that she enters in the beginning of the movie and later where her father visits her, one would take a right on Potterierei and walk a short distance to the old church at Potterierei 79.

Posted by
6643 posts

I had a problem seeing that information when I opened up the link, but it seems that I had seen before mention of Blekersstraat near Korte Blekersstraat.

Probably because you didn't open up the places. Open the link and at the bottom of the listed locations, click on the small link that says "8 more" and more filming locations will open up.

Posted by
7049 posts

I don't understand why "In Bruges" makes people want to go to Bruges. It's a bleak, unhappy, gangster-film, by a dark-minded director.

I tend to agree. It was recommended a while ago in a post here and I was going to watch it but didn't get very far into it and decided it wasn't for me. Not worth wading through the movie just to see some places in Bruges.

Posted by
2000 posts

RJ you are right. I see you have the right info to get a good impression about the shooting locations. Good to see too that Bruges hasn’t changed much during those 64 years. The location where she boarded the ship to Africa is Antwerp, the spire of the Cathedral of Our Lady and Het Steen castle in the background are easy to recognize. I’m pretty sure the tree lined lane she walks through with one of her fellow nuns (around 1:00 in the movie) must be the Begijnstraat along the Lake of Love and actually located at the opposite side of the historic city centre.

Living within an hour driving from Bruges I have visited it numerous times and before payed parking was introduced parked my car along the Potterierei or near the Sint-Anna church a bit further. My visits are less frequent nowadays, Bruges has become too busy, too touristy to my idea to really enjoy it. Nevertheless it remains anyway a beautiful place.

Btw even having a DVD not a fan of "In Bruges" too.

Posted by
67 posts

@RJ, you're right. The alley she walks down is located off Blekersstraat, but the room she walks out of (or the door she walks through) was built for the movie.

Posted by
437 posts

Again, many thanks to all who contributed. It seems clear that the "alley" is Blekersstraat--when Gabrielle Van der Mal leaves the room, the building seen in the distance is located at 1 Jack van Eyckplein. It appears she walks about 130 feet down Blekersstraat before turning to the right (on Potterierei), which means the "room" she exited would have been near the intersection of Blekersstraat and Korte Blekersstraat. With your help, mystery solved.