5 Feb 2016

Blowing up the Russian Consulate - Part 3

After blowing up the Russian consulate and stealing the Lector decoder in From Russia With Love, Bond and Tania escape through Kerim's secret passage underneath the consulate. The building, doubling for the Russian consulate in the film is located in the Şişli district in Istanbul, along Halaskargazi Caddesi number 161.

The house and the surrounding garden still looks the same as it did in 1963 and the surrounding fence and the entrance gate have not been changed although the gate has been given some new paint. This is one of a few fairly untouched locations in Istanbul.

As the firemen rush up to the house, a small part of the path in the garden is visible, as well as the actual building behind the smoke. This path, made up from small round stones is in the style of classic "pebble mosaic", a style that probably originated in ancient Greece and became widespread in the Byzantine Empire. This path can still be found on location today and the house does not appear to have been changed that much either.

During filming, the crew had major problems with crowds that flocked the streets, something that is apparent in several scenes filmed around the consulate and elsewhere in Istanbul. The firetruck during the filming of the burning consulate probably contributed to even more spectators. Thus, a lot of the people seen in the top picture were probably not hired extras.

Bond first arrives at the consulate late in the film, in a taxi. The taxi stops outside the entrance gate at Halaskargazi Caddesi and at the same time, the Şişli  mosque is visible in the far background. More on the long street and the mosque have been covered here in an earlier post.

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