Have you ever wanted to know where Narnia is?
The land of Narnia is a magical world filled with talking animals, good versus evil, and the ruler of it all: Aslan, the Great Lion. I’m sure you have come to know of this magnificent world through reading The Chronicles of Narnia book series or watching its movie adaptations. However, do you know that this place exists?
Well, maybe not a real place exactly, but it is inspired by an actual location in Italy.
In this post, I cover where Narnia is in relation to a real place and go over some of C. S. Lewis’s inspirations in the series.
Where is Narnia?
Narnia is a fictional realm in the fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, in which the Pevensie children are transported to the land by an old wardrobe. The imaginary world’s name was inspired by the real-life town of Narnia, now called Narni, in central Italy’s Umbria region which lies about 50 miles north of Rome.
Overview of Narni, Italy
The history of Narni stretches back thousands of years. The town was once called Nequinum, founded and named by Osco-Umbrian people. Over time, the city would grow and prosper until the Roman Republic later arrived in 229 BC, and they renamed the town Narnia, after the nearby Nar River.
In the spring of 2009, Narni’s local historian Giuseppe Fortunati received a gift of a Latin atlas from Lewis’ biographer and former personal secretary Walter Hooper. Lewis owned the atlas, and on it, he had underlined “Narnia,” confirming his knowledge of the place.
As of now, Narni has a population of 20,000. It is still home to beautiful sites such as a medieval cathedral, the Rocca, and a castle built into the side of a hill.
In addition to these historical places, Narni also has some reminders of its connection with C. S. Lewis’ imagination and his beloved stories: images of lions and Bl. Lucia of Narnia is scattered around the city.
Connections Between Narni and Narnia
Although Narni is not the same as the magical land of Narnia, there are still similarities between the two:
- A stone table stands near the Via Flaminia. This ancient road leads from Rome to the Adriatic Sea and passes by Narni. The stone table believed to have been a place of animal sacrifice and possibly a human sacrifice. You may also recall a stone table in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where Aslan sacrifices himself to save Edmund.
- One other way the real and fictional places are linked is through the character of Lucy Pevensie. She is the youngest sibling in The Chronicles of Narnia and comes to believe in this fantastical land after she sees it first. Born in a real town Narni was a mystic who lived from the end of the 15th to the mid-16th century. Her name was also Lucy or Lucy Brocadelli. She is known for having the gift of seeing visions from a young age.
Did C.W. Lewis Write the Series in Narni?
No. Lewis was, in fact, never personally visited Narni. He only saw the name in an atlas; then, he decided to use the name for his imaginary world.
So, where did he write the series?
The site where Lewis trod during the years he wrote the series is now called CW Lewis Nature Reserve. With its marsh and air raid shelter, this swampy forest is home to many birds and fish. Perhaps this place was what really inspired him. It is the kind of place a child might create in their mind.
CW Lewis Nature Reserve is just south of the Kilns, where the author lived until he died in 1963. Both places are now open for visitors to experience the same sense of adventure that Lewis felt while writing the series. So if you ever find yourself near Oxford, visiting CW Lewis Nature Reserve and the Kilns will give you even more insight into how the world of Narnia came to be.
In this post, you’ve learned the answers to the question: Where is Narnia?
Here are some key takeaways:
- Narnia’s name was inspired by the real-life town Narni, in central Italy’s Umbria.
- The author, C.W. Lewis, saw the name Narni in an atlas.
- Narni is still home to its 20,000 population and its beautiful sites.
- C.W. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia in Oxford, England.