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"A cobblestoned shopping area for the wizarding world, where Hogwarts students can purchase necessary supplies."
—Description of Diagon Alley [src]

Diagon Alley is a cobblestoned wizarding alley and shopping area located in London, England behind a pub called the Leaky Cauldron.[2] Inside the alley is an assortment of restaurants, shops, and other sights. All items on the Hogwarts supply list can be bought at Diagon Alley. The alley is completely hidden from the Muggle world which is right outside of its boundaries. It is very large in area and essentially the centre of wizarding London.

History

Early history

The Leaky Cauldron was present long before Charing Cross Road was even planned in the nineteenth century; its true address is number one, Diagon Alley, and it is believed to have been built some time in the early 1500s, along with the rest of the wizarding street.[3] It is a popular historical theory that the second oldest building in Diagon Alley is Gringotts Wizarding Bank and that the other shops grew up around it.[4] However, there is a possibility that Ollivanders is the oldest building, records dating back to the early fourth century B.C.[2]

When the Statute of Secrecy was imposed Diagon Alley was hidden by the use of many powerful spells of concealment. The then Minister for Magic, Ulick Gamp, agreed to give the landlord of the day present at the Leaky Caluldron responsibility for letting people into Diagon Alley from his back yard.[5]

In 1926, one of the shops in Diagon Alley was burgled with the help of a Four-Headed Bird.[6]

Harry Potter's early visits

"There were shops selling robes, shops selling telescopes and strange silver instruments Harry had never seen before, windows stacked with barrels of bat spleens and eels' eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills, and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon..."
—Harry Potter visits Diagon Alley for the first time[src]
Bustle of diagon alley

The bustle of Diagon Alley during the early 1990s

Harry Potter's first visit to Diagon Alley with Rubeus Hagrid marked his re-introduction to the wizarding world. Harry's first stop was Gringotts Wizarding Bank, where he encountered Goblins for the first time. After entering the huge, grand bank and explaining what they want to a goblin, Hagrid and Harry are taken by Griphook down to the vaults on a speeding cart, which makes Hagrid sick. First they stop at the Potter vault, then continue to the higher security Vault 713, where Hagrid gets the Philosopher’s Stone.

After obtaining money from the bank Hagrid helped Harry shop for his school supplies and purchased Harry's eleventh birthday present, the snowy owl Hedwig, from Eeylops Owl Emporium. Harry later names her Hedwig, a name he finds in A History of Magic.

Harry also purchased his wand from Ollivanders. After trying out a large number of wands, none of which seem quite right, Harry is handed a holly and phoenix feather wand. Harry pays seven Galleons for the wand and leaves the shop. Also when visiting Diagon Alley Harry remarked that he wished he had more than one pair of eyes to be able to take in all the sights the alley has to offer.

Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys visit Flourish and Blotts to buy school books. They discovered that Gilderoy Lockhart was signing his new book, Magical Me. When Lockhart spotted Harry, he dragged him up in front of the camera with him and announced to the crowd that he would be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts for the up coming year. After Harry escaped from the spotlight, Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley got into a fight. Lucius used that moment to sneak the Diary into Ginny Weasley’s cauldron.

During the summer before his third year, Harry spent several weeks in Diagon Alley, staying in a room at the Leaky Cauldron by night and roaming the street by day, marvelling at the incredible shops and the witches and wizards, in from all over the country, who came by to do their shopping. He does his homework out in the open, eats free ice creams, picks up his books, and repeatedly stops by Quality Quidditch Supplies to admire the Firebolt. Ron, and the Hermione are also staying at the Leaky Cauldron. Hermione buys Crookshanks. That night, Harry overhears Mr and Mrs Weasley in conversation – and learns that Sirius Black is after him.

Return of the Dark Lord

"The colourful, glittering window displays of spellbooks, potion ingredients, and cauldrons were lost to view, hidden behind the large Ministry of Magic posters that had been pasted over them... A few windows were boarded up, including those of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. On the other hand, a number of shabby-looking stalls had sprung up along the street."
—Description of Diagon Alley's gloominess[src]
Diagon alley 1998

Diagon Alley during the Second Wizarding War

Following Voldemort's return to power in 1996, wizards and witches no longer felt safe wandering out in public, and Diagon Alley changed dramatically. The once-crowded streets stood virtually empty, faces of Death Eaters plastered the fronts of once-bright shops, and street vendors popped up, hawking anti-Dark devices.

Within another year and Voldemort's taking over of the Ministry of Magic, a large number of shops had closed, replaced by others devoted to the Dark Arts, and the street was filled with Muggle-borns who had been cast aside by the new system. Ollivanders and Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour were closed.

Presumably, after Voldemort's eventual downfall and the installation of Kingsley Shacklebolt as Minister for Magic[7], Diagon Alley eventually returned to its splendour of old.

Location

Diagon Alley is accessible from Muggle London through the Leaky Cauldron, which is on Charing Cross Road, set between a bookshop and a record shop. The Muggles who pass by the inn seem to be "quite unconscious" of its existence.[2] Knockturn Alley, a dark artefacts area, is an off shoot of Diagon Alley, as are the areas of Horizont Alley and Carkitt Market.

Access

"Welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley."
Rubeus Hagrid introduces Harry Potter to the alley[src]
Tumblr lzgr9tz0u41qili3vo2 250

The entrance to Diagon Alley behind the Leaky Cauldron

The entrance is behind the Leaky Cauldron in a small, walled courtyard with a dustbin. Diagon Alley can be accessed by tapping the correct brick in the wall behind the Leaky Cauldron (from the trash can, three up and two across). The wall goes in a small hole first but forms a large archway.[2] It can also be accessed by Floo Powder[8] and Apparition. There may be other entrances as well.

Diagon Alley connects to a second, less reputable shopping district, Knockturn Alley.[8]

Community

"Best thing about the shopkeepers here is that they're all honest."
—A female patron expresses her opinion of Diagon Alley[src]
DiagonAlleySouthSideChristmas PM

Diagon Alley South Side during the winter months

Inside the Alley is an assortment of restaurants, shops, and other sights; some even have tables out front with coloured umbrellas.[9] Particularly during the days or weeks before school starts at Hogwarts, the location is packed with witches and wizards, though shops are open year-round as witches and wizards travel to the location for various goods. While the shops include many school-supply locations, there are also many locations important to the wizarding world, such as Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Ollivanders. Diagon Alley is also the location of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, established by Fred and George Weasley shortly after leaving Hogwarts.[10]

Known Locations

"There's only one place we're going to get all this. Diagon Alley."
Molly Weasley on buying her children's school supplies.[src]
Shop(s) Notes Store front
2nd Hand Brooms A shop that sells used broomsticks.[11][12]
Amanuensis Quills A shop in Diagon Alley that sells quills. It is next to Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions shop.[13]
Apothecary A store located at North Side, Diagon Alley which supplies merchants with ingredients for potion-making.
Apothecary 1
Broomstix A shop that sells broomsticks.[14][15][16]
Eeylops Owl Emporium A pet shop located in Diagon Alley that sells owls and various other things needed for the care of owls, like Owl Treats. It sells a variety of breeds, including Screech, Barn, Tawny, Brown, and Snowy.[2][10][17]
Diagon Alley - Eeylops Owl Emporium
Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour It was owned and operated by Florean Fortescue, and was located at Diagon Alley.[10][9]
Florean Fortescues 1
Flourish and Blotts A popular bookshop in Diagon Alley where most Hogwarts students purchase their schoolbooks.[2][10][8][9][17]
Flourish and Blotts 1
Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop is located in Diagon Alley. Fred and George, and Lee Jordan stocked up on Dr Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks.[8]
Gambol and Japes 1
Gringotts Wizarding Bank Gringotts is the only known bank of the wizarding world. It was created by the goblin Gringott. It is located in Diagon Alley and is owned and run by Goblins. In addition to storing money and valuables for wizards, one can go there to exchange Muggle money for wizarding money.[2][8][9][17]
Gringotts bank
Junk shop A shop that sells secondhand items such as broken wands, lopsided scales, etc.[8][17][18]
Junk Shop 2
The Leaky Cauldron A popular Wizarding pub in London. It is the entrance to Diagon Alley.[2][10][8][9][17][19]
Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions Sometimes simply referred to as Madam Malkin's, it is a shop in Diagon Alley. Students get their Hogwarts school uniforms there, and also dress robes, travelling cloaks, and the like.[2][10][9][17]
Madam Malkin's
Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions Located at 275 Diagon Alley, this shop helps witches getting rid of "warts and worse".[20]
Magical Menagerie One of the shops where students buy their pets and supplies.[9][17]
Magical Menagerie 1
Obscurus Books Located at 18a Diagon Alley, Obscurus is a Wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles include the popular Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.[21]
Obscurus Books 1
Ollivanders Ollivanders is the sole wand shop of Diagon Alley. Peeling gold letters over the door of the shop read: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.. The shop's display consists of a solitary wand laying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. The shop is tiny, empty except for a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands are piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place has a thin layer of dust about it.[2][10][17][22]
OllivandersWandShop
Potage's Cauldron Shop A shop that sells cauldrons.[2]
Potages Cauldron Shop
Quality Quidditch Supplies A shop in Diagon Alley. Its main products are things having to do with Quidditch such as Quaffles, Bludgers, and broomsticks.[9]
Quality Quidditch Supplies 1
Rosa Lee Teabag A teashop located in Diagon Alley as well as in Hogsmeade.[11][12]
Rosa Lee Teabag
Scribbulus Writing Instruments A shop that sells ink and presumably other stationary items (quills, parchment).
Scribbulus Writing Implements1
Second-Hand Bookshop A shop that sells second-hand books.
Second-Hand Robes A shop that sells second-hand robes.
Second Hand Robes 2
Slug & Jiggers Apothecary This is where students buy their potion ingredients.[2][10][8]
Slug & Jiggers Apothecary1
Sugarplum's Sweets Shop A shop that sells confections.[15][16][23][24]
Sugarplums-sweetshop-diagon-alley
TerrorTours Located at 59 Diagon Alley, TerrorTours is presumably a travel agency for wizards and witches.
The Ministry Press A publishing house affiliated to the Ministry of Magic.
The Daily Prophet's main office Presumably where the Daily Prophet newspapers are printed.
Daily Prophet 1
Twilfitt and Tatting's Twilfitt and Tatting's is a wizarding clothing shop located in Diagon Alley. Given that it is favoured by elitist pure-blood witch Narcissa Malfoy, it is probably an upmarket shop.[10]
Twilfit and Tattings 1
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Located at 93 Diagon Alley, it is a joke shop owned by Fred and George Weasley. It sells practical joke objects, such as Extendable Ears, a Reusable Hangman, and Fred and George's special WonderWitch products, such as love potions and ten-second pimple remover. There is also a section of Muggle magic tricks in honour of their father Arthur. They're not big sellers, but they do fairly well.[10]
Exterior of Weasleys Wizards Wheezes shop
Whizz Hard Books Located at 129B Diagon Alley. Whizz Hard Books is a Wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles include the popular Quidditch Through the Ages and Hairy Snout, Human Heart.[25]
Whizz Hard Books
Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment A miscellaneous equipment shop.[15][16][24][26]
Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment
Various Stalls and Peddlers There are a variety of street peddlers who take up space in between shops out on the main thoroughfare of Diagon Alley. Included are a flower vendor, a vendor who is selling roasted chestnuts, and a jewellery vendor.

Etymology

The words "Diagon" and "Alley" when pronounced together, produce the word "diagonally" which is most probably the origin of the name "Diagon Alley". When Harry mispronounced the name due to inhaling a mouthful of ash, he landed in a fireplace in nearby Knockturn Alley.

Behind the scenes

Lego Ally

The LEGO version of Diagon Alley

  • In the United States, there is a shop which is a remake of Diagon Alley in Los Angeles, California called Whimsic Alley (which is a play on the word "whimsically"). The store features false store fronts inside the shop which mimic those of the "real" Diagon Alley, where many Harry Potter and wizard themed items can be purchased.[27]
  • In the film Eat, Pray, Love there is a set that looks very much like the set used for Diagon Alley.
  • In the the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hagrid taps a series of bricks to enter Diagon Alley instead of one brick (three up two across).
  • The 2-disc DVD edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets includes an interactive tour of Diagon Alley, including non-interactive interior views of several shops, and an interactive exploration of Flourish and Blotts.
Diagon alley entrance

Leaky Cauldron backyard leading to Diagon Alley

  • As depicted in the films, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley are strictly pedestrian precincts, as the streets are too narrow to accommodate either vehicular or carriage traffic. Presumably magical means are exercised for stocking the shops, eliminating the need for standard transportation corridors.
  • As depicted in the films, Diagon Alley was inspired by the look of London in the early 1800s, but with fantastical touches, such as buildlings leaning at such sharp angles that they would surely fall if not supported by magic.[28]
  • There is a LEGO set based on Diagon Alley, released on 1 January, 2011. It has three main buildings: Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Ollivanders, and Borgin and Burkes. It includes minifigures which have appeared in several of the Harry Potter films.
  • Though Muggles are unable to view the Leaky Cauldron and thus reach the entrance to Diagon Alley, Hermione Granger's parents accompanied her on her trip in her second year. It is possible alternative arrangements are available for such cases, such as a temporary connection to the Floo Network.
  • There is a Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios theme park, joined with Knockturn Alley. It includes a lot of the same shops and buildings where one can purchase Harry Potter merchandise, such as Harry Potter-themed clothing in Madame Malkin's and wand replicas in Ollivander's and Gregorovitch's.
  • Some have proposed that Diagon Alley is based on Victoria St in Edinburgh, which is located a few blocks from the Elephant House café. Victoria St is a narrow, winding road with high shops on either side, including a book shop, a clothing shop, a joke shop at one end, and a shop that sells wands. However, Rowling has never mentioned Victoria St.
  • In order to fill all the Shops in Diagon Alley, set director Stephenie McMillan and her team went to antique shops, auctions and flea markets in the city and the countryside.
  • Crew members who went to purchase the items were asked not to say why they needed so many jars, books, or owl cages.
  • One of the crew members told a shopkeeper the reason she was buying so many broomsticks was because she had to do a lot of sweeping!!!!
    The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley RenderingLR

    A drawing of Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Diagon-alley
  • Pottermore has a Feature on designing Diagon Alley.

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 129 images related to Diagon Alley.

Notes and references

  1. Pottermore
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  3. Pottermore
  4. Third W.O.M.B.A.T. at J. K. Rowling's Official Site
  5. Pottermore
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  7. Accio Quote!
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 4 (The Leaky Cauldron)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  11. 11.0 11.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  12. 12.0 12.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  13. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  14. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 Pottermore
  18. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  19. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 32
  20. Daily Prophet Newsletters
  21. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  22. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands)
  23. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  24. 24.0 24.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
  25. Quidditch Through the Ages
  26. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
  27. www.whimsicalley.com
  28. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, Diagon Alley


Diagon Alley
Shops

2nd Hand Brooms · Amanuensis Quills · Beard Trimming · Brigg's Brooms · Broomstix · Broom Brakes Service · Broom Shop · Bufo's · Cranville Quincey's Magical Junkshop · Eeylops Owl Emporium · Fine Enchanting Caldrons · Floo-Pow · Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour · Flourish and Blotts · Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop · J. Pippin's Potions · Janus Galloglass · Jimmy Kiddell's Wonderful Wands · The Junk Shop · Leaky Cauldron · Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions · Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions · Magical Menagerie · Mr. Mulpepper's Apothecary · Mulligrubs Materia Medica · Noltie's Botanical Novelties · Obscurus Books · Ollivanders · Praedico Predico · Pettichaps · Potage's Cauldron Shop · Quality Quidditch Supplies · Rosa Lee Teabag · S. Starling · Scribbulus Writing Implements · Second-Hand Bookshop · Second-Hand Robes · Slug & Jiggers Apothecary · Sugarplum's Sweets Shop · Surgical dental operator · Tangle & Noils Wigmakers & Perruquiers · Twilfitt and Tattings · Twinkle's Telescopes · Wand Showroom · Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes · Whizz Hard Books · Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment

Other services

Brews and Stews · Daily Prophet's main office · Diagon Alley stalls · GalloLoans · Gringotts Wizarding Bank · The Ministry Press · Peter Boat · TerrorTours

Locations

1 Diagon Alley · 18a Diagon Alley · 129b Diagon Alley · 275 Diagon Alley · 343 Diagon Alley South · 59 Diagon Alley · 92 Diagon Alley · 93 Diagon Alley · 94 Diagon Alley

Known residents and shop employees

Archibald Bennett · Bloke who fixed the toilet at Leaky Cauldron · Broom Shop shopkeeper · Cleaner at Leaky Cauldron · Clutterbuck Crispe · Cook at Leaky Cauldron · Cranville Quincey · Crookshanks (formerly) · Daily Prophet personnel · Daisy Dodderidge · Day maid at Leaky Cauldron · Florean Fortescue (deceased) · Fred Weasley (deceased) · Garrick Ollivander · George Weasley · Hannah Longbottom née Abbott · Hedwig (formerly; deceased) · Healer · Jimmy Kiddell · J. Pippin · Leaky Cauldron maid · Madam Malkin · Madam Primpernelle · Madam Potage · Magical Menagerie saleswoman · Magical Menagerie salesman · Manager of Flourish and Blotts · Manager of Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop · Mulpepper · Neville Longbottom · Night maid at Leaky Cauldron · Podric Batworthy · Ronald Weasley · Shimmy Hardoteer · Sugarplum · Tom (formerly) · Unidentified female Eeylops Owl Emporium employee · Unidentified male Eeylops Owl Emporium employee · Unidentified Quality Quidditch Supplies employee · Unidentified Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment employee · Verity

Diagonallmenningen