Wizarding Schools are an essential part of wizarding life. Once young wizards and witches come of age, they must attend whichever regional Wizarding School they are nearest too. Whether it's Hogwarts, Ilvermorny, or Durmstrang, each has its own defined histories, traditions, and secrets.
One of the foundational wizarding academies in Harry Potter is Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. This school, located in France, has deep roots in the European Wizarding society, but they have just as many secrets as their academic peers. Here are ten facts about Beauxbatons that most fans don't know.
10 It Is Located In The Pyrenees Mountains
Unlike the mysteries surrounding the location of Dumrstrang Institution, Beauxbatons holds no secrets in regards to their location. As with many wizarding schools, Beauxbatons is hidden away in a regional chain of mountains.
In the case of Beauxbatons, their academy can be found in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France. Near the border of France, these beautiful snowcapped mountains give way to lush hidden valleys.
Like many regal homes in France, Beauxbatons is a chateau-like marvel. Carved magically out of rocks from the surrounding mountains, it is surely a sight to behold.
9 It Traces Its Origins Back To The 1200s
Beauxbatons is one of the oldest Wizarding institutions in the world. It can be dated back to the late 1290s, standing as a sanctuary for wizards and witches during a time of persecution.
Many notable figures have attended the school. A certain alchemist was an alum, but so was a near victim of French Revolutionaries. Vincent Duc de Trefle-Picques, a former student of Beauxbatons, used an invisibility charm on his head to appear as if he had already been beheaded. This trick allowed him to escape the executions unscathed.
8 It Has Rule Breaking Transportation
As many know, the primary form of transport for Hogwarts students is the train, Hogwarts Express. While romantic, it's certainly not the most fantastical mode of travel. Durmstrang, on the other hand, has a taste for the more theatrical, traveling by a submersible sailing ship. Beauxbaton's favorite vehicle though takes the cake.
Beauxbatons students travel to school in a carriage pulled by gigantic pegasus. These winged horses only drink single malt whiskey, and the carriage itself took a page out of Doctor Who and is much bigger on the inside. The only problem is it often gets in the school into trouble. The carriage is frequently seen, going against the statute of secrecy of the Wizarding World.
7 The Headmaster Madam Maxime Never Married Hagrid
One of the strangest romances in all of Harry Potter has to be that of Madame Maxime and Rubeus Hagrid. These two had quite the romantic fling during The Goblet of Fire. Hagrid, who had never been in love before, got a bit to caught up near the end though, trying to out Madame Maxime as a Half-Giant, like himself. She was offended, and their relationship was never the same afterwards.
While the pair did go off and attempt to communicate with The Giants, their romance was seemingly dead. Perhaps after the war, it had rekindled, but it has been confirmed that no matter what, it never went as far as to result in marriage.
6 It Caters To Western Europe
Like Hogwarts, which welcomes students in and around the British Isles, Beauxbatons extends its reach somewhat outside the borders of its nation. While located in France, Beauxbatons hosts students from all across Western Europe. It is not clear if they are as open in their acceptance as Durmstrang, who opens its doors internationally, but the list of nationalities extends throughout the locality of Southern France.
Beauxbatons is home to students from countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. It seems that most of the rest of Europe would then attend either Durmstrang or an otherwise unknown institution.
5 The Features Of The School Grounds
The school grounds of Hogwarts are some of the most beautiful aspects of the world of Harry Potter. With its gothic castle, fantastical bridges, stone circles, and beautiful highland landscape, few vistas compare. Beauxbatons though has a taste for the finer things.
Funded by the gold of alchemists, the architecture of the Chateau is vastly different than the more Austere Hogwarts. Beautiful enchanted fountains dot the landscape of Beauxbatons, not to mention their opulent gardens. Where the Brits might be a bit more frugal and simplistic, French wizards obviously enjoy beauty and leisure.
4 The Etymology
The Etymology of the Harry Potter franchise is a favorite among fans. The schools, in particular, hold a lot of secrets in their names. Durmstrang, for example, is an echo of a darkly themed art movement in 1700s Germany. Hogwarts' name might not have a lot of meaning on its own, but Beauxbatons name certainly does.
The name Beauxbatons most likely draws from the French beaux bâtons. This phrase literally translates to beautiful sticks. This could refer to the power and majesty of wands, with the beauty being magic and the sticks being wands.
3 It Has Mealtime Entertainment
The arts are not the most important focus at Hogwarts School. When Beauxbatons and Durmstrang first arrived in The Goblet of Fire, they performed fantastical magical musical performances. Meanwhile, Hogwarts performed their lackluster school song.
It makes sense that music and art are a bit more important to French wizards than the Brits. In fact, it's a constant in the day to day life of the school. During meal times, the students are treated to live music performance by nymphs. Music is embedded in Beuxbatons.
2 Beauxbatons Is Nicolas Flamel's Alma Mater
As hinted, there is a major historical figure who was an alumnus of Beauxbatons Academy, and he had quite the knack for alchemy. That's right, Nicolas Flamel, the nearly immortal alchemist who crafted the sorcerer's (or philosopher's) stone, attended Beauxbatons.
This is the same wizard who assisted Newt Scamander during the events of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Best friends with Dumbledore, Flamel is the most famous former student of the French Wizarding School (apart from Fleur Delacour). As previously stated his fondness of the school funded many of its architectural wonders as well.
1 Its Christmas Traditions
Christmas time at Hogwarts is one of the most magical elements of the school. Giant Christmas trees and feasts abound while students and teachers relax on a much-needed break. But, other schools have traditions too, Beauxbatons among them.
If the ice sculptures at the Yule Ball were the opening act, the ones on display at Beauxbatons itself was the main show. These giant ice sculptures are on display throughout the great hall of the academy and are enchanted to never melt no matter the temperature.