Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / Official Tintin books /

Seven Crystal Balls: Professor Tarragon's home

#1 · Posted: 10 Jan 2007 11:16
In case none of you knew, I have a great interest in the architecture of places in the Tintin adventures. Here is my latest interest...

Professor Tarragon, the last member of the Inca Expedition has a small, multi-levelled home. You can see a picture of it in The Seven Crystal Balls, page 28, frame 9.

I love it because it's so small, but is built up on 4 separate floors, with chimneys towering from the roof.

Anyone else think his house is really awesome?
labrador road 26
#2 · Posted: 10 Jan 2007 11:32
It is based on a real house if you didn't know.
See here
and here, for example.

In Benoit Peeters book, there is a anecdote about when Hergé and some assistant (Jacobs, de Moor or someone else, don't remember) were at the real house, making some drawings, and just when they leave a black car drives up to the house. They later find out that the house was the head-quarters for the Gestapo (or S.S. or somesuch).

If Hergé had been spotted drawing pictures he would probably have been taken in for questioning and the house for the Professor would surely have been a different one!

None the less, I also likes the house, even before I read the history of it. I think the odd angles makes it fascinating.
#3 · Posted: 10 Jan 2007 11:56 · Edited by: Balthazar
Yeah, I love it too. Its a great location in what is one of my favourite Tintin books. It was closely modelled on a real house in a Brussels suburb which Hergé and his then-colleague, Edgar P Jacobs, went to sketch (not knowing it was actually being used to house German SS officers at the time!) I think they adapted the architecture a little bit for the book, and placed it in a more remote woodland location. And the colouring and subtly eerie lighting they give it add a lot to the atmosphere. There's a photo of the original house in one of the books on Hergé I've got - either Michael Farr's complete companion, or Benoit Peeter's earlier book. Or maybe it's in both books.

edit: Looks like I was typing the above response at the same time as Labrador Road 26 was posting his, so sorry for repeating some of his info!

I'd imagine the house could well still be standing. Maybe you could start a Tintin-architectural-location tour around all the places in the world used as models for locations in the books!

If you're into well-drawn realistic architecture in comic books, I'd recommend Edgar P Jacobs' The Yellow M, the best book of his Blake & Mortimer series which he created after working on Tintin with Hergé. It's full of beautifully drawn, amazingly detailed and brilliantly atmospheric London locations. It's not been in print in an English translation for years but a new English Edition has just come out, or is just about to. You'll find details elsewhere on this Forum, or on Amazon.co.uk. I think.
#4 · Posted: 10 Jan 2007 12:26 · Edited by: jock123
I'd imagine the house could well still be standing.

It is, or was, according to the Tintin in the City exhibition of a couple of years ago.

Maybe you could start a Tintin-architectural-location tour around all the places in the world used as models for locations in the books!
One of the dimmest things I’ve done (or rather, not done!) was to neglect to copy down the places that the exhibition listed as being in Brussels. They had a map with push-buttons which lit up little bulbs - as used to be found in many UK cities and towns in days gone by - to locate sites from Hergé’s life and work, and whilst I played with the buttons, it didn’t occur to me to list them for later visits, and the exhibition book doesn’t reproduce it…
There was talk that a walking map might be produced for the Tourist Office, but I don’t think it came to anything. You can however buy an English-language version of a useful BD-themed pocket walking-guide, which is a pretty nice look at the city, but doesn’t take in the Tarragon house, as I recall…
#5 · Posted: 10 Jan 2007 20:47
that house is one of the main locations from the tintin world that really stands out to me too - just the mood Herge captures in those scenes was amazing - dead on.
Also - my father, back when he used to live and work in Belgium owned a house that was quite similar - very narrow but 4 stories and with a creepy feeling...
#6 · Posted: 11 Jan 2007 07:33
Wow! Well thanks for all the info!

Since I have a major love of history (both modern and ancient), and am considering a career as an historian, I would love to own a house similar to Professor Tarragon's.

The actual pictures of the house are much less picturesque than the one drawn by Hergé, but I guess that is to be expected.
#7 · Posted: 19 Jan 2007 10:26
I visited Brussels in april 2005 to walk in "Tintin footsteps". You can se my pictures and addresses to all locations on this site: (In swedish)
#8 · Posted: 19 Jan 2007 11:25
Welcome aboard the boards, sthlm01!
Thanks for the link, your site looks very nice - I don’t speak Swedish, but I can manage the addresses: very useful!

This could be the basis for a useful new guide/ list for the site. Does anyone have any other addresses they can add?

I can throw in the Royal Observatory of Belgium, as seen in The Shooting Star; it is at Av. Circulaire, 3 - Ringlaan 3, 1180 BRUXELLES - BRUSSEL.

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.


  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!