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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 was a cobblestoned wizarding alley and shopping area located in London, England behind a pub called the Leaky Cauldron. Inside the alley was an assortment of restaurants, shops, and other sights. All items on the Hogwarts supply list could be bought at Diagon Alley. The alley was completely hidden from the Muggle world which was right outside of its boundaries. It was very large in area and essentially the centre of wizarding London.[1][2]

History

Early history

The Leaky Cauldron backyard leading to Diagon Alley

The Leaky Cauldron was present long before Charing Cross Road was even planned in the nineteenth century; its true address was number one, Diagon Alley, and it was believed to have been built some time in the early 1500s, along with the rest of the wizarding street.[2] It was a popular historical theory that the second oldest building in Diagon Alley was Gringotts Wizarding Bank and that the other shops grew up around it.[4] However, there is a possibility that Ollivanders was the oldest building, records dating back to the early fourth century B.C.[1]

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 Cauldron responsibility for letting people into Diagon Alley from his back yard.[2]

In 1926, one of the shops in Diagon Alley was burgled with the help of a Four-Headed Bird.[5]

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]

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 wanted to a goblin, Hagrid and Harry were taken by Griphook down to the vaults on a speeding cart, which made Hagrid sick. First they stopped at the Potter vault, then continued to the higher security Vault 713, where Hagrid got the Philosopher’s Stone.[1]

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 named her Hedwig, a name he found in A History of Magic.[1]

Harry also purchased his wand from Ollivanders. After trying out a large number of wands, none of which seemed quite right, Harry was 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 had to offer.[1]

Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys visited Flourish and Blotts to buy school books for their second year at Hogwarts. 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.[6][7]

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 did his homework out in the open, ate free ice creams, picked up his books, and repeatedly stoped by Quality Quidditch Supplies to admire the Firebolt. Ron and Hermione were also staying at the Leaky Cauldron. Hermione brought Crookshanks from the Magical Menagerie. That night, Harry overheard Mr and Mrs Weasley in conversation — and learned that Sirius Black was after him.[3]

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 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.[8]

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.[9]

Presumably, after Voldemort's eventual downfall and the installation of Kingsley Shacklebolt as Minister for Magic Diagon Alley eventually returned to its splendour of old.[10]

Location

Diagon Alley was accessible from Muggle London through the Leaky Cauldron, which was on Charing Cross Road, set between a bookshop and a record shop. The Muggles who paseds by the inn seem to be "quite unconscious" of its existence.[1] Knockturn Alley, a dark artefacts area, was an off shoot of Diagon Alley, as were the areas of Horizont Alley and Carkitt Market.[6]

Access

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

The entrance to Diagon Alley behind the Leaky Cauldron

The entrance was behind the Leaky Cauldron in a small, walled courtyard with a dustbin. Diagon Alley could be accessed by tapping the correct brick in the wall behind the Leaky Cauldron (from the rubbish bin, three up and two across). The wall went in a small hole first but formed a large archway.[1] It could also be accessed by Floo Powder[6] and Apparition. There might be other entrances as well.

Diagon Alley connected to a second, less reputable shopping district, Knockturn Alley.[6]

Community

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

Diagon Alley South Side during the winter months

Inside the Alley was an assortment of restaurants, shops, and other sights; some even had tables out front with coloured umbrellas.[3] Particularly during the days or weeks before school starts at Hogwarts, the location was packed with witches and wizards, though shops were open year-round as witches and wizards travelled to the location for various goods. While the shops included many school-supply locations, there were also many locations important to the wizarding world, such as Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Ollivanders. Diagon Alley was also the location of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, established by Fred and George Weasley shortly after leaving Hogwarts.[8]

Known locations

"Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley."
Harry Potter in Knockturn Alley for the first time[src]
Shop(s) Notes Store front
2nd Hand Brooms A shop that sold used broomsticks.[11][12]
Amanuensis Quills A shop in Diagon Alley that sold quills. It was next to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions.[13]
Apothecary A store located at North Side, Diagon Alley which supplied merchants with ingredients for potion-making.
Apothecary 1.jpg
Broomstix A shop that sold broomsticks.[14][15][16]
Eeylops Owl Emporium A pet shop located in Diagon Alley that sold owls and various other things needed for the care of owls, like Owl Treats. It sold a variety of breeds, including screech, barn, tawny, brown, and snowy.[1][8][2]
Diagon Alley - Eeylops Owl Emporium.jpg
Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour It was a shop selling ice cream and was owned and operated by Florean Fortescue, and was located at Diagon Alley.[8][3]
Florean Fortescues 1.jpg
Flourish and Blotts A popular bookshop in Diagon Alley where most Hogwarts students purchased their schoolbooks.[1][8][6][3][2]
Flourish and Blotts 1.jpg
Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop was located in Diagon Alley. Fred and George, and Lee Jordan stocked up on Dr Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks.[6]
Gambol and Japes 1.jpg
Gringotts Wizarding Bank Gringotts was the only known bank of the wizarding world. It was created by the goblin Gringott. It was located in Diagon Alley and owned and run by goblins. In addition to storing money and valuables for wizards, one could go there to exchange Muggle money for wizarding money.[1][6][3][2]
Gringotts bank.jpg
Healer Shop The Healer of this shop altruistically offered free treatment at her healing station, seeing it as her duty.[17][18]
Healershop.png
The Junk Shop A shop that sold secondhand items such as broken wands, lopsided scales, etc.[6][2][19]
Junk Shop 2.jpg
Leaky Cauldron A popular wizarding pub in London. It was the entrance to Diagon Alley.[1][8][6][3][2]
Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions Sometimes simply referred to as Madam Malkin's, it was a shop in Diagon Alley where students got their Hogwarts school uniforms, and also dress robes, travelling cloaks, and the like.[1][8][3][2]
Madam Malkin's.jpg
Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions Located at 275 Diagon Alley, this shop helped witches getting rid of "warts and worse".[20]
Magical Menagerie One of the shops where students bought their pets and supplies.[3][2]
Magical Menagerie 1.jpg
Obscurus Books Located at 18a Diagon Alley, Obscurus was a wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles included the popular Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.[21]
Obscurus Books 1.jpg
Ollivanders Ollivanders was 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 consisted of a solitary wand laying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. The shop was tiny, empty except for a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place had a thin layer of dust about it.[1][8][2][22]
OllivandersWandShop.jpg
Potage's Cauldron Shop A shop that sold cauldrons.[1]
Potages Cauldron Shop.jpg
Quality Quidditch Supplies A shop in Diagon Alley. Its main products were things having to do with Quidditch such as Quaffles, Bludgers and broomsticks.[3]
Quality Quidditch Supplies 1.jpg
Rosa Lee Teabag A teashop located in Diagon Alley as well as in Hogsmeade.[11][12]
Rosa Lee Teabag.jpg
Scribbulus Writing Instruments A shop that sold ink and presumably other stationary items (quills, parchment).[1][6]
Scribbulus Writing Implements1.jpg
Second-Hand Bookshop A shop that sold second-hand books.[6]
Second-Hand Robes A shop that sold second-hand robes.[6]
Second Hand Robes 2.jpg
Slug & Jiggers Apothecary This was where students bought their potion ingredients.[1][8][6]
Slug & Jiggers Apothecary1.jpg
Sugarplum's Sweets Shop A shop that sold confections.[15][16][17][23]
Sugarplums-sweetshop-diagon-alley.jpg
TerrorTours Located at 59 Diagon Alley, TerrorTours was presumably a travel agency for wizards and witches.
The Ministry Press A publishing house affiliated to the British Ministry of Magic.
The Daily Prophet's main office Presumably where the Daily Prophet newspapers were printed.
Daily Prophet 1.jpg
Twilfitt and Tattings Twilfitt and Tattings was a wizarding clothing shop located in Diagon Alley. Given that it was favoured by elitist pure-blood witch Narcissa Malfoy, it was probably an upmarket shop.[8]
Twilfit and Tattings 1.jpg
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Located at 93 Diagon Alley, it was a joke shop owned by Fred and George Weasley. It sold 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 was also a section of Muggle magic tricks in honour of their father Arthur. They were not big sellers, but they did fairly well.[8]
Exterior of Weasleys Wizards Wheezes shop.JPG
Whizz Hard Books Located at 129B Diagon Alley. Whizz Hard Books was a wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles included the popular Quidditch Through the Ages and Hairy Snout, Human Heart.[24]
Whizz Hard Books.jpg
Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment A miscellaneous equipment shop.[15][16][23][25]
Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment.jpg
Various Stalls and Peddlers There were a variety of street peddlers who took up space in between shops out on the main thoroughfare of Diagon Alley. Included were a flower vendor, a vendor who was selling roasted chestnuts, and a jewellery vendor.

Other wizarding shopping areas

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

Diagon Alley as illustrated by Mary GrandPré for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The LEGO version of Diagon Alley

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

Diagon Alley at the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • 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.[26]
  • In the film Eat, Pray, Love there is a set that looks very much like the set used for Diagon Alley.
  • In 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.
  • 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.[27]
  • 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 special arrangements are available for such cases, such as a temporary connection to the Floo Network, or family members being charmed to allow them to see the pub.
  • 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!
  • Pottermore had a feature on designing Diagon Alley.

Appearances

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The Harry Potter Wiki has 206 images related to Diagon Alley.

Diagon Alley as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  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 Pottermore
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 4 (The Leaky Cauldron)
  4. Third W.O.M.B.A.T. at J. K. Rowling's official site
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  10. Accio Quote!
  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 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  19. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  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. 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
  24. Quidditch Through the Ages
  25. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
  26. www.whimsicalley.com
  27. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, Diagon Alley
London's Wizarding Quarter
England, Great Britain
Carkitt Market - Diagon Alley - Horizont Alley - Knockturn Alley
Diagon Alley
Shops

2nd Hand Brooms · Amanuensis Quills · Broomstix · Broom Brakes Service · Broom Shop · Cauldron Workshop · Cranville Quincey's Magical Junkshop · Fine Enchanting Cauldrons · Floo-Pow · Florist's stall · Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop · J. Pippin's Potions · Jimmy Kiddell's Wonderful Wands · The Junk Shop · Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions · Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary · Obscurus Books · Ollivanders · Rosa Lee Teabag · Scribbulus Writing Implements · Second-Hand Bookshop · Second-Hand Robes · Slug & Jiggers Apothecary · Sugarplum's Sweets Shop · Surgical and Dental Operator · Twilfitt and Tattings · Wand Showroom · Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes · Whizz Hard Books

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 · Broom Shop shopkeeper · Clutterbuck Crispe · Cranville Quincey · Daily Prophet personnel · Edwin Avarus · Fred Weasley (deceased) · Garrick Ollivander · George Weasley · Healer · Jimmy Kiddell · J. Pippin · Madam Primpernelle · Manager of Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop · Mulpepper · Podric Batworthy · Ronald Weasley · Shimmy Hardoteer · Sugarplum · Unidentified florist in Diagon Alley · Verity · Villanelle

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