Iconic Locations in Oscar-Winning Movies, From Peru to Petra

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Forbidden City in Beijing, seen in "The Last Emperor." Todd Brown/Getty

Some of the world's most heralded movies have been set at iconic locations, from museums to military institutions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and beyond. The locations, along with the actors, help make the scenes they're featured in a treasured part of Hollywood history. Each of the films here has been part of award history, with at least one—and as many as 11—Academy Awards to its name.

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The Musso & Frank Grill in Los Angeles, seen in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood..." Bret Hartman/The Washington Post/Getty

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
The Musso & Frank Grill, Los Angeles

Quentin Tarantino's latest movie and winner of two Oscars recalls some of the most iconic Hollywood hotspots of the late 1960s. In one scene, Leonardo DiCaprio's character Rick Dalton meets with characters Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) at The Musso & Frank Grill. The restaurant is older than most Old Hollywood movies, having been around since 1919. To this day, it retains its old-school style and service.

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Hart House, University of Toronto, seen in "Good Will Hunting." Getty

Good Will Hunting (1997)
University of Toronto, Toronto

The nine-time Oscar-nominated (and winner of two) film was set in Boston. Some of it was filmed in Beantown, but much of it was actually filmed in Canada. Instead of wandering the halls of MIT, what you actually saw was the University of Toronto. Campus buildings such as Whitney Hall were used throughout the movie for both exterior and interior shots, including the lecture halls.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the home of the famous steps that Rocky Balboa trains on in "Rocky." Getty; John Bryson/Getty

Rocky (1976)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Set in the City of Brotherly Love, Rocky won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In one of the most famous scenes from the film, the title character, played by Sylvester Stallone, runs up a set of steps and throws his hands in the air in triumph. These famous steps lead to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's east entrance. It's also the location of the iconic statue that was created for Rocky III.

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Machu Picchu, the city of the Inca Empire hidden high up in the Andean mountains, seen in "The Motorcycle Diaries." Getty

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Machu Picchu, Peru

The historic 15th century Incan citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It's among the places visited by the duo of motorcyclists during The Motorcycle Diaries (Oscar winner for music) as they traversed South America, and a point of significance for the main character who is moved by the beauty of the site.

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The Old Royal Naval College, seen in the barricade scenes of "Les Miserables."

Les Miserables (2012)
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, England

The story is set in France, but much of the filming was done in England. Various locations were used as the streets of Paris with moviegoers none the wiser. The barricade scenes—some of the three-time Oscar-winning film's most dramatic moments—were filmed at Old Royal Naval College.

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Tower Of David at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, Israel, seen in "Ben Hur." Richard Nowitz/Getty

Ben Hur (1959)
Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem

With 11 Oscars, Ben Hur is tied for the record for most wins. Though it was filmed entirely on sound stages at Cinecittá in Rome, most of the locations in the movie—widely regarded as one of the best ever made—are able to be seen in real life. This includes the Jaffa Gate, one of the entries to the Old City of Jerusalem. It was restored and cleaned in 2010.

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Exterior of Al-Khazneh in Petra, Jordan, seen in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Getty; Murray Close/Getty

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Al-Khazneh, Petra, Jordan

In the third installment of the Indiana Jones franchise (which has won seven Oscars across the series), Al-Khazneh doubles as a temple that houses the Holy Grail. In reality, it's one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, but its interior is a small, simple stone room rather than a booby-trapped layer. Shots of the make-believe interior were filmed at Elstree Studios in London.

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The Karen Blixen Museum near Nairobi in Kenya. Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty

Out of Africa (1985)
The Karen Blixen Museum, Karen, Kenya

The movie tells the story of Karen Blixen, a Dane who moved to Africa to start a coffee plantation and whose story was chronicled in the memoir that inspired this beloved film, which won seven Academy Awards. The museum contains some of Blixen's original furniture and sits on the land that was once her plantation. It also features props from the Meryl Streep and Robert Redford movie.

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Forbidden City in Beijing, seen in "The Last Emperor." Getty; Christophe D. Yvoire/Sygma/Getty

The Last Emperor (1987)
Forbidden City, Beijing

The Forbidden City, with its elaborate gardens and numerous temples, features prominently in this nine-time Oscar winner. The film tells the story of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, who was born 500 years after the city's construction from 1406 to 1420. It was the first Western feature film granted permission by the People's Republic of China to film at the site.

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The bar in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, seen in "Lost in Translation." Park Hyatt Tokyo

Lost in Translation (2003)
Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo

This romantic comedy—and Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay—was filmed at temples, shrines and even country clubs throughout the city. One of the most notable locations in the film is the Park Hyatt Hotel. Here, the two main characters, played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, meet for the first time. Head up to the bar on the 52nd floor to sip a drink where the pair met and enjoy a beautiful view of Tokyo.

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A general view of the Shire is seen at the Hobbiton Movie Set where Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were filmed, in Matamata, New Zealand. Alex Livesey/FIFA/Getty; Getty

The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003)
Matamata, New Zealand

A visit to New Zealand is a must for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. Locations throughout the country were used for filming both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (2012-2014) movies (with 17 Oscar wins and 37 nominations between them). At the top of the locations list is Matamata, which served as Hobbiton. The set is now open as an attraction to explore and even offers meals at The Green Dragon Inn.