Thursday, February 11, 2021

Where is Alfea College in 'Fate: The Winx Saga' located?


While dreaming up his famed herd of Winx fairies in the early Noughties, Italian animator Iginio Straffi looked to Japanese magical girl manga and the Harry Potter novels for inspo. His imagination soon made bank, his Winx Club cartoons going on to air around the globe for at least eight seasons. 

With Italy's most successful animated series graduating from 2D to live-action this year, Winx’s long-time viewers may wonder: Where is Alfea located in real life, now that it looks a bit more real onscreen? 

The fictional college for fairies on Netflix's Fate: The Winx Saga was filmed in Killruddery House, a 17th-century country mansion in the town of Bray in County Wicklow, Ireland. 

Credit: AnaGreysStones

Home to the Earls of Meath since 1651, the current-day mansion was remodeled in 1820 in the Elizabethan style. The front wing was demolished in the 1950s, partly to give way to a new design by English architect Claud Phillimore, 4th Baron Phillimore.

You may remember Killruddery's gorgeous orangery as the boarding school's greenhouse (and the Harveys' main haunt). 


Then there are the manse's placid Reflecting Ponds, where Sky (Danny Griffin) and the Specialists come to spar. 


Indoor photography took place at Ashford Studios and Ardmore Studios in Ballyhenry and Bray, respectively.  

When he was fantasizing about Alfea, Straffi actually thought of two very real, very famous schools in England. He had this vision of "a sort of 'Oxford-Cambridge' in a magical dimension, in which the students compete for the best grades with spells," he recalled

The Queen's College in the University of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. Photo via kaofenlio

Of course, fairies and loathly ladies have held a great fascination for many residents of the British Isles since days of yore, even leading children to fake photographs.

The photos of the Cottingley Fairies, as they came to be known, plus the cameras used to take them, are displayed in the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, England. Photo via Historic UK

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