List of Errors & Facts in The Da Vinci Code


Below is a chapter-by-chapter guide to what's true, what's false, and what might be true in The Da Vinci Code. Click links for references and further information. The claims of the book are listed in the order in which they appear. The list isn't completely exhaustive, but covers virtually all claims of interest.

Ch. In The Da Vinci Code In Reality
1There is an academic field at Harvard called "Religious Symbology." False - it isn't even a word. The study of symbols usually falls within "iconography," "semiology," or "religious art." (ref)
2Some Opus Dei members wear a cilice, a spiked belt around the thigh, to remind them of Christ's suffering and curb the desires of the flesh. It is usually worn for two hours. True. Opus Dei says this is done only by a minority and does not cause injury ( ODAN, on the other hand, says "Not one former numerary member has told ODAN in its 14 years of existence that they were not compelled to use the cilice and discipline."
2 "Pain is good" was a mantra taught by Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei who died in 1975. Mostly true. Maybe not this exact phrase, but Escriva did say ""Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain... Glorified be pain!" (The Way, 208)
2Some Opus Dei members practice "The Discipline" - whipping themselves on the back with a heavily knotted rope. Mostly true. The Discipline of self-whipping is a real practice, but it is not really a "heavily knotted rope" - it is a smaller rope that can easily fit in one hand.
3The Jardins des Tuileries doesn't refer to tulips, but a clay mine for making roof tiles. True. (ref).
3Orgiastic rituals were once held at the Arc du Carrousel. Fiction. There is no evidence for this.
3The Louvre is the longest building in Europe; the plaza is a million square feet in area; the entire perimeter is 3 miles long. It would take about 5 weeks to appreciate the 65,300 pieces of art. Not quite right. There are 35,000 works of art in 60,000 square meters of exhibition space (
3 François Mitterrand, who commissioned the Louvre pyramid, was obsessed with all things Egyptian. False. Although Mitterand commissioned the great restoration project, the pyramid was I.M. Pei's idea (see here). Mitterand was obsessed with being a patron of the arts, but it doesn't seem he was particularly obsessed with Egyptian things. See The Louvre Pyramids and The Da Vinci Code.
4The Louvre pyramid has 666 panes, an explicit request of Mitterand. This has always been a hot topic among conspiracy buffs. False. This was a popular urban myth about 20 years ago, but the Louvre states there are 673 and the architect's office says 698.
4 A crux gemmata is a cross with 13 gems, an ideogram for Christ and his 12 apostles. True.
4 Christianity in France is not so much a religion as a birthright (in reference to the police chief wearing a cross). True, if referring to the long history of Christianity in France that is still embedded in culture and traditions, alongside the fact that France is now one of the least religious countries.
4Most of the security cameras in the Louvre are fake. Large museums rely on containment security instead. False. The Louvre's security system uses real cameras and movement detection. (source)
5 Description of Murray Hill Place, the new headquarters of Opus Dei in New York. Accurate. See photos and description from the architects here.
5 Bishops normally wear a purple sash and a gold ring with large diamonds. True. See Vestments of Bishops.
5 Opus Dei insists it is simply an honorable Catholic organization, but the media emphasizes scandal and there is an Opus Dei Awareness Network. True. See official websites of Opus Dei and ODAN.
6The pentacle is one of the oldest symbols on earth, dating from 4,000 years BC. It means different things, but is primarily a pagan religious symbol that represents the sacred feminine. Partly true. The pentacle or pentagram is an ancient symbol (probably from about 3500 BC) and it has had associations with Venus and Ishtar. But it's probably not "primarily" associated with goddesses. See Pentagram.
6 "Pagan" originally meant "country-dweller" and "villain" comes from "villager." True. See pagan and villain on the Online Etymology Dictionary.
6The planet Venus traces a perfect pentacle every 8 years, which was the basis for the 4-year Olympic games cycle. The pentacle almost became the symbol of the modern Olympics. All false. See the Pentacle and Venus article.
6The pentacle and other pagan symbols were demonized by the Church. Probably. Many pagan symbols and rituals were associated with the devil by the Church because of the view that false gods were really demons. Satanists do use the pentagram, but usually upside-down.
6 A black light both reveals writing from a black-light pen and hidden blood. True, although the blood has to be sprayed with a chemical first (overlooked for plot purposes in ch. 26).
7Opus Dei became a "personal prelature of the Pope" the same year they allegedly transferred $1 billion into the Vatican Bank. Partly true. Opus Dei became a personal prelature in 1982, and the Vatican bank declared bankruptcy in 1982. There does not seem to be any hard evidence for Opus Dei's role in the bank scandal, and $1 million is probably a random figure. Opus Dei's official response to The Da Vinci Code says it "did not help 'bail out' the Vatican bank," yet does not deny a transfer (#6 here).
7Opus Dei's views on women are "medieval at best" - female members endure additional work and hardships. Maybe true, at least according to ODAN. But see also Opus Dei's official statement on women.
8 Leonardo da Vinci was a flamboyant homosexual goddess worshipper who exumed corpses, studied alchemy and elixirs of immortality, invented horrific war and torture instruments, and fulfilled hundreds of Vatican commissions in which he hid pagan symbols. Almost entirely false. It seems likely Leonardo was a homosexual and not a huge fan of the Church, and he did invent some violent machines. But the rest has no basis in the historical evidence.
19 Saint-Sulpice was built over the ruins of an ancient temple of the goddess Isis. False. Although it was not uncommon for churches to be built over temples, there is no archaeological evidence for this claim.
19Saint-Sulpice has a history of association with unorthodox people and ideas, and was used as a meeting hall for secret societies. Partly true, at least. There doesn't seem to be evidence for secret societies, but people like Victor Hugo and the Marquis de Sade have been baptized or married here and it has connections with a ritual magician and a Satanist. (more info)
20 "Originally, Tarot had been devised as a secret means to pass along ideologies banned by the Church." False. It was originally just a card game, which later developed esoteric uses related to mysticism, divination, alchemy, and ritual magic (not ideologies).
20Phi, the Divine Proportion, is a fundamental building block in nature and art. True. Lots more info here.
20 Anagrams have a "rich history of sacred symbolism," such as in Kabbalah. True. Anagrams are used in Kabbalah.
20The Romans referred to the study of anagrams as ars magna - the great art. Fiction. Brown is just rearranging the letters in "anagrams" to create a Latin phrase. However, anagrams in Latin have been found and the Romans probably used them.
22The gnomon in Saint-Sulpice is a pagan astronomical device, a vestige of the pagan temple. False. It is a scientific astronomical instrument that was added after the church was built to determine the spring equinox, and thereby the date of Easter.
22The gnomon's brass strip is called the Rose Line and was once the Prime Meridian. False. It is not called the Rose Line, though that certain works well for the story. The Paris Meridian passes nearby but does not correspond to the gnomon's axis. (more)
23The Priory of Sion is one of the oldest secret societies and had members like Leonardo and Victor Hugo. It is the pagan goddess worship cult. False. (See also ch. 37 below.) The Priory is a known 20th-century fraud, and even the fraud had nothing to do with goddess worship.
26The Mona Lisa has been stolen twice, most recently in 1911 - it was found 2 years later in Florence. Mostly true. It was stolen in 1911 and found two years later in Florence, when the thief tried to sell it. But I can't find evidence for a previous theft.
26 Leonardo considered the Mona Lisa his best work and carried it with him. True. He did not give it to the person who commissioned the work, but kept it himself. The reason is not known. It is assumed, for instance, on the BBC website.
26Mona Lisa is an anagram of Amon L'Isa - a combination of the Egyptian god and goddess of fertility. False. This cannot be so, since "Mona Lisa" both post-dates Leonardo and is used mainly by English speakers. The name derives from the believed subject of the portrait, Monna (my lady) Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Italians call the painting La Gioconda; the French call it La Joconde.
28 "Constantine and his male successors successfully converted the world from matriarchal paganism to patriarchal Christianity by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine, obliterating the goddess from modern religion forever." Mostly false. There is little evidence that classical paganism was matriarchal. Christianity was more open to women than most of the ancient world, especially in the earliest years. However, women disappeared from leadership roles as the church hierarchy developed. Constantine had nothing to do with any of this.
29 During the Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum taught how to discover, torture and kill all free-thinking women, herb-gatherers, female scholars and midwives who used medical pain relief. Fact-based. The Malleus Maleficarum is a real document about how to find witches, but the types of women listed were not targeted.
29 During over 300 years of witch hunts, the Church burned an astounding 5 million women at the stake. False. The number is more like 50,000 (still terrible) and included men as well as women. They weren't all burned and it wasn't all the Catholic Church: many were executed by the state or by Protestants.
32The nuns who commissioned the Madonna of the Rocks were shocked at its "explosive and disturbing details" and ordered it to be revised. Mostly false. First, they weren't nuns. Second, there is no evidence they were shocked. It probably had to do with money. But Leonardo was asked to revise it, and some details seem softened in the second version. (more info)
32, 74 Description of Hieros Gamos - 30 people standing in a circle wearing masks, women in white gowns and holding golden orbs, men wearing long black tunics. Inaccurate. It seems Brown's source for this is the movie Eyes Wide Shut, which is mentioned in the novel, and his (good) imagination. Heiros gamos usually refers to the sacred marriage of a god and goddess, and is only rarely imitated by worshippers. Tunics and orbs optional.
33The equal-armed cross (+) predates Christianity by 1500 years and is considered a "peaceful cross." Partly true. It is a very old symbol with a variety of meanings, but was not specifically a "peaceful" cross. (see
34 Architectural Digest called Opus Dei's NYC headquarters "a shining beacon of Catholicism sublimely integrated with the modern landscape." Fiction. Just a plot device.
34 Castel Gandolfo is the Pope's summer vacation home and houses the Vatican Observatory, one of the most advanced astronomical observatories in Europe. Partly true, partly false. It is the Pope's summer home but the Vatican Observatory was moved to Arizona. (Vatican Observatory website) (More on Castel Gandolfo.)
34The Biblioteca Astronomica is rumored to have more than 25,000 volumes including rare works of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Secchi. And allegedly it is the site of private meetings of high officials. Apparently fiction. I have not been able to find any information on the Biblioteca Astronomica at Castel Gandolfo.
37The "Parisian cognoscenti" know the Bois de Boulogne as "the Garden of Earthly Delights," as it is frequented by prostitutes of all kinds at night. Part fact, part fiction. No one seems to be aware of the epithet, but there are indeed prostitutes as described.
37The Priory of Sion was founded in 1099 by a French king who charged them with keeping his family secret, which included hidden documents. False. There is no evidence for the Priory of Sion prior to the 20th century. Experts believe the Priory's historical claims to be a hoax.
37The Knights Templar were the military wing of the Priory of Sion. Protection of pilgrims was only a guise for their true purpose of finding the documents. They did find something that made them wealthy and powerful. Fiction. There is no evidence for this claim, which of course depends on the false claim that the Priory is an ancient society. The Templars were wealthy and powerful, but because they functioned as bankers and received many donations.
37 "For academics, the Templars' history was a precarious world where fact, lore and misinformation had become so intertwined that extracting a pristine truth was almost impossible." Not really. "Pristine truth" is always virtually impossible when it comes to history, but the history of the Templars is fairly clear - they were formed to protect Holy Land pilgrims and were originally poor. But then they took up international banking, became wealthy and powerful, and were eventually accused of heresy and suppressed.
37Working with King Philippe IV, Pope Clement devised a sting operation against the Knights Templar, initiated on Oct. 13, 1307. True. Hundreds of Templars were arrested, tried for heresy and other crimes, and tortured until they confessed. Others fled or joined the Knights Hospitaller.
37The above event is the source of "unlucky" Friday the 13th. False. Learn the real history (just as interesting) here.
37 Sangreal is an ancient word that has evolved into Holy Grail. True; also spelled Sangraal; san means "holy" and graal refered to a plate or bowl. (ref) The alternative splitting of the word into sang real does mean "royal blood" - this play on words was first used in later medieval times. (ref)
39 Noah was an albino (Bishop Aringossa kindly tells Silas this to help him not be embarrassed about his condition). Probably not. The source for this is old, but not official: the non-canonical 1 Enoch 106:2.
40The Adoration of the Magi has a hidden drawing beneath it, which was changed by the painter. Embarrassed officials have banished the painting to a warehouse. Half true, half false. There is a hidden drawing beneath it, but there's no reason to suspect "embarrassment."
40, 42 The Depository Bank of Zurich is a high-tech bank on 24 Rue Haxo. Fiction. This bank doesn't exist in real life.
48 Les Dossiers Secrets prove the existence of the Priory of Sion and have been authenticated by experts. False. They are widely accepted as a fraud. See Priory of Sion.
55 The Bible "did not arrive by fax from heaven" but is a human record that has evolved through countless translations, additions and rivisions. True. The New Testament as we know it today was not finalized until the late 4th century. See The New Testament and The Da Vinci Code.
55 Jesus' life was "recorded by thousands of followers across the land." False. Most of his followers, which probably didn't number in the thousands, were illiterate. See The New Testament.
55More than 80 gospels were considered for inclusion in the New Testament. False. There were never that many in circulation - more like a dozen or so. And it doesn't appear than any gospels other than the final four were ever considered.
55The Bible was collated by Constantine the Great. False. The Bible was "collated" over several centuries, and the proces was not even finished during Constantine's lifetime. He had nothing to do with the process. This claim may be rooted in the fact that Constantine requested several copies of the existing Bible for new churches in Constantinople. See Constantine and The New Testament.
55 Constantine was a lifelong pagan who was only baptized because he was too weak to protest. Unlikely. Some respected scholars have held this view, but the majority now believe that he really converted to Christianity for personal reasons. However, his Christianity may have been a simple one and it was awhile before he excluded all pagan rituals and symbolism traditionally associated with being a Roman emperor. He was baptized on his deathbed, but this was a common practice to ensure entrance into heaven.
55 Christianity had grown exponentially and "Christians and pagans began warring" to an extent that threatened the Roman Empire. Though a pagan, Constantine backed the winning horse. Debatable. The majority of scholars do not think that Christianity was all that powerful or numerous before Constantine's conversion (313 AD). Even if they were, Christians and pagans certainly weren't "warring." Christians were persecuted by pagans right up to Constantine's time.
55 "Nothing in Christianity is original." All symbols, icons, and holidays are based on pagan religions. Exagerrated. Christianity incorporated much pagan imagery and symbolism, but there are plenty of original aspects too.
55 December 25 is the birthday of Mithras, Osiris, Adonis and Dionysus. Mostly true. December 25 was the birthday of the Unconquered Sun (often equated with Mithras) and possibly of Osiris (ref but see ref) and Dionysus (but his festival was in spring). (It is also the birthday of Isaac Newton, who is mentioned in The Da Vinci Code.) The end of December is near the winter solstice, and therefore a common time to celebrate rebirth, light, and saviors.
55The newborn Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh. False. There is no evidence for this in any Hindu text. It was first claimed in Kersey Graves' The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors (1875), with no citations.
55 Sunday worship derives from veneration of the sun. Partly true. But it is also based on Jesus' resurrection on a Sunday.
55The idea that Jesus was divine was invented for the first time by Constantine at the Council of Nicea. False. Jesus was commonly regarded as divine since the first century. The Council of Nicea met to decide what kind of divinity Jesus is - fully God or a lesser divine being. Constantine was not involved in this debate and didn't see the significance; he simply supported the bishops' decision.
55The decisions of the Council of Nicea were made by a "relatively close vote." False. The total number of bishops is not known for certain (the traditional number is 318 and modern scholars say maybe 200-250) but the historical record is clear that there were only 2 dissenting votes.
55 Jesus inspired millions to live better lives. False, if he means during Jesus' lifetime.
55To cement the new idea of Jesus as divine, Constantine developed a new Bible that contained only the books showing Jesus as divine and burned all those portraying him as human. False. Constantine was not involved in the development of the canon. And the argument doesn't make sense - why were there gospels showing Jesus as divine if that was a new idea? Moreover, Jesus is more human in the canonical Gospels than he is in the "rejected" Gnostic gospels. Rejected books were not burned; they just weren't copied.
55The word "heretic" was used for the first time when Constantine created a divine Christ and a new Bible and called everyone who didn't accept these a heretic. The Latin word haerticus means "choice." False. The word and idea of a "heretic" had been around for years. There was, for instance, a book called "The Refutation of All Heresies" before Nicea. The word "heresy" does derive from the word "choice," and it came to refer to the wrong choice.
55The Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi scrolls speak of Christ's ministry in very human terms. No, they don't. The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish and don't mention Jesus at all. The Nag Hammadi gospels portray a mystical Christ with little historical narrative.
55The Last Supper shows 13 cups but no chalice. "Oddly, Da Vinci appears to have forgotten to paint the Cup of Christ." First part true; second part unlikely. Part of the greatness of Leonardo's Last Supper is that he chose a different scene to illustrate - the one from the Gospel of John when Jesus says "One of you will betray me," which takes place after the table has been cleared.
56The original icons of male and female were the "blade" (^) and "chalice" (v). Not exactly. These icons were used in ancient times, but so were others.
58The person seated next to Christ in Leonardo's Last Supper is clearly a woman. This is based on his/her "flowing red hair, delicate folded hands and the hint of a bosom." Not very likely. Very few art historians agree with this claim, noting that Leonardo often depicts men (including John) in a "feminine" way in other paintings. And which disciple was left out to make room for Mary?
58A scotoma is when the mind blocks out incongruity and sees what it expects to see. Not exactly. "Scotoma" is a medical term for a "blind spot" due to neurological or ocular dysfunction, not from exposure to a powerful symbol.
58 The Last Supper was thoroughly restored in 1954, revealing more details. True. But sadly, it still is quite a mess due to all the damage over the years. Some art historians say it isn't really even a Leonardo painting anymore.
58Mary Magdalene was not a prostitutebut this was assumed for centuries. True. This error dates from a sermon of Pope Gregory the Great that identified Mary with the woman in Luke 7:36-50. Modern scholars know this to be an error. (Ehrman 161)
58The misconception that Mary was a prostitute "is the legacy of a smear campaign launched by the early Church" in large part to bury the idea that she married Jesus and he was only a mortal prophet. Not likely. Obviously, the main part of this claim is based on the book's unlikely central theory of a great cover-up of Jesus' marriage. But beyond that, reasons can be seen for the confusion that are more likely than a "smear campaign."
58Mary Magdalene's marriage to Jesus is "a matter of historical record." Completely false. "In none of our early Christian sources (including all Gnostic writings) is there any reference to Jesus' marriage or to his wife." (Ehrman 153)
58The positioning of Christ and "Mary" in The Last Supper purposely form a 'V' (representing the chalice or womb) and an 'M' (for Mary). It is quite doubtful this was Leonardo's intention. Art historians explain the positioning in terms of groups of three, which add to the drama of the moment.
58 "Jesus as a married man makes infinitely more sense than our standard biblical view of Jesus as a bachelor... according to Jewish custom, celibacy was condemned." Not really. It is true that marriage is highly valued in Judaism, but there are many instances of ancient Jewish men who remained celibate but were not condemned for it. Moreover, celibacy was commonplace among Jewish apocalypticists, of which Jesus probably was one.
58The Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea Scrolls are "the earliest Christian records." False. The Dead Sea Scrolls aren't Christian at all - they are completely Jewish. The Nag Hammadi writings are ancient, but most scholars think they are later than the biblical gospels.
58The Gospel of Philip says that Mary Magdalene was the "companion" of the Lord and that they used to often kiss on the mouth. True (although "the mouth" is not actually said in the original, just m[..]). Read it here. The Gospel also says, "it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth" and "for this reason we also kiss one another."
58 "As any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse." False. First, the Gospel of Philip is not in Aramaic and never was. It is a Coptic translation of a Greek original. Second, the Greek word for "companion" is commonly used of friends and associates and does not mean spouse. (Ehrman, 144)
60 "The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians." False. No historian has supported this theory. Teabing follows the claim quoted at left by listing The Templar Revelation, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, the Goddess in the Gospels, and Holy Blood, Holy Grail. These are real books, but not written by professional historians or scholars. See Authors & Experts.
60 "A child of Jesus would undermine the critical notion of Christ's divinity and therefore the Christian Church, which declared itself the sole vessel through which humanity could access the divine." Not necessarily. Official Christian teaching is that Jesus was fully God and fully man - if he had a child, it would be part of his humanity and would not necessarily endanger his divinity. (See Christology.)
60The legendary 'Q' document is a "manuscript that even the Vatican admit they believe exists. Allegedly, it is a book of Jesus' teachings, possibly written in his own hand. False. "The Q document is not a source written by Jesus; it is a hypothetical document that scholars believe once contained sayings of Jesus, written about 20 years after his death, and used as a source for their gospels by Matthew and Luke." (Ehrman, 99)
60 "Why wouldn't Jesus have kept a chronicle of his ministry? Most people did in those days." No, they didn't. Most people could not even write. And there is "no shred of evidence to suggest that Jesus himself kept a record of his ministry. On the contrary, so far as we know, Jesus never wrote anything." (Ehrman, 99)
61 Walt Disney, like a modern-day Leonardo, made it his life's work to pass on the Grail story, and he loved implanting secret messages and symbolism in his movies. Um, probably not. But the hidden "symbolism" and messages in modern movies, such as Langdon mentions, are well known facts.
61 (?) "A cathedral's long hollow nave as a secret tribute to a woman's womb... complete with receding labial ridges and a nice little cinquefoil clitoris above the doorway." Highly unlikely! The nave's long shape is due to the traditional cruciform (cross-shaped) design. But of course the "secret meaning" of shapes in art can never be proven or disproven.
62The 2,000-year long Age of Pisces ended with the millennium, replaced by the Age of Aquarius that is characterized by free thinking. False. According to this article, it is still the Age of Pisces and will be until 2600. And "Eastern astrology associates the Age of Pisces with the yin; i.e., spirituality and intuition. Aquarius, on the other hand represents the yang, with its emphasis on rationality and high technology."
64 Leonardo Da Vinci's diaries contain designs for the cryptex as described in the novel. Fiction.
65 Supernumerary members of Opus Dei practice no corporal mortification. True.
74 "The ancients believed the male was spiritually incomplete until he had carnal knowledge of the sacred feminine." Unlikely.
74 Early Jewish tradition involved ritual sex in the Temple. False.
74YHWH derives from Jehovah, a union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah. False. Actually, Jehovah derives from YHWH, and neither have to do with Eve.
74 Early mankind's use of sex to gain closeness to God is the reason the Church and other major religions demonized sex - to preserve their power as the only conduit to God. False. Major religions sometimes tend to a negative view of sex because of the dangers of excess, but official teaching rarely supports this. And there is no evidence or logic behind the idea this is all about power or exclusivity.
74Modern religion teaches that sex is shameful and that sexual desire should be feared as the hand of the devil. Mostly false. This can be a tendency, but more so in the past and there are very few, if any, "modern religions" that actually teach this.
76The Knights Templar worshipped Baphomet, a horned god of fertility. Doubtful. There is some historical basis for this, but it is generally thought it came from a desperate Templar making something up under torture.
76The notion of the horned devil Satan can be traced to the Church's recasting of the fertility god into a symbol of evil. Basically true. The Church did teach that all pagan gods (but not just fertility gods) were demons, and the iconography of the horns and tail were likely taken from horned gods. To learn more about belief in demons, read Elaine Pagel's Origin of Satan.
82The Temple Church in London is "pagan to the core," as evidenced by its round shape built in honor of the sun. Highly unlikely. There are other non-Templar round churches in England with no known connection with paganism. They were tributes to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. And there is no evidence the Templars were pagans. See here for more information on the Temple Church and The Da Vinci Code.
82 Every religion is based on fabrication, i.e. metaphor for talking about God, and the problem arises when we try to take the metaphor literally. Partly true. Many religions incorporate myths, allegories and metaphor to explain the unexplainable. But the implication here is that the story of Jesus is done a disservice by being taken literally - Christianity is so fundamentally based in claims of historical events that this would have major implications.
83 Langdon notes the barren austerity of the Temple Church and Teabing chuckles, "Church of England. Anglicans drink their religion straight. Nothing to distract from their misery." Not really. Anglicanism is considered a "Via Media" between Catholic and Protestant and most churches are as opulent and beautifully decorated as Catholic churches.
85There are no knights' tombs in the Temple Church; only effigies. True. See here for more information on the Temple Church and The Da Vinci Code.
97 Westminster Abbey has metal detectors and visitors are provided with paper to make brass rubbings. Both false. See here and here for more about Westminster Abbey and The Da Vinci Code. Both claims are useful to the plot, so may just be artistic license.
104 Rosslyn Chapel is known as the "Cathedral of Codes," it stands on the site of a Temple of Mithras and it contains an array of symbols from Jewish, Christian, Egyptian and Masonic tradition. Mostly false. It is sometimes known as the "Chapel of Codes" and is intricately carved with mysterious symbols. But it does not stand on a Temple of Mithras and the symbols are mostly Christian, with some Celtic-related "Green Men" and such.
104 Rosslyn, also spelled Roslin, derives from "Rose Line." Fiction. It comes from Ross, meaning hill, and Lyn, meaning stream.
104The Knights Templar built Rosslyn Chapel as an exact replica of Solomon's Temple. Fiction. It works well for the plot, but it's not. It's actually built on a blueprint of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and follows the common architectural style and structure for churches in those days. (ref)
104Worn into the floor of Rosslyn Chapel is a large Star of David, which was once the secret symbol of stargazing priests. Fiction. The floor is covered in a red covering today, and none of the old engravings of the chapel show a Star of David. (ref)
104The Mason and Apprentice Pillars are modeled on those in Solomon's Temple and there are replicas in every Masonic temple. False. That would be impossible to verify since no one knows what the Temple looked like inside. You can take a virtual tour of the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge to look for pillars.
104The Rosslyn Trust offers a generous reward to anyone who can decipher the code of symbols on stone blocks. False.

Article Info

Title List of Errors & Facts in The Da Vinci Code
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “List of Errors & Facts in The Da Vinci Code.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021. <>