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Visitor's Guide to Hogwarts finished through book seven

Hogwarts Castle - Ground Floor

staircases in the entrance hall

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Entrance Hall

Double oak front doors, opening to the west (PA21). Large, cavernous room, lit by torches, with ceiling so high it's barely visible. Wide marble staircase opposite the front doors (east wall) leads up to first floor. Double doors to the right (south wall) lead into the Great Hall. On the east wall are two doors, one on either side of the staircase. To the north of the staircase is a door leading down a flight of steps to the first dungeon level. To the south is a door leading to the Hufflepuff common room and the kitchens. On the left (north wall) is a door leading to a smaller antechamber where First Years wait to be sorted.

To the right of someone coming down the stairs (north wall) is a door leading down to the Slytherin common room (OP38, also CS12).

Four giant hourglasses - one for each House - stand in niches in a corner opposite the main doors. Each hourglass is filled with gemstones rather than sand, one gemstone in the lower bulb for each House Point currently held by that House. Gryffindor's contains rubies, Ravenclaw's sapphires, and Slytherin's emeralds (OP28, OP38). Presumably Hufflepuff's hourglass contains some sort of yellow gemstone. During the Battle of Hogwarts, the Slytherin hourglass was blasted apart and emeralds scattered across the floor, making the combatants stumble and slip (DH32).

The entrance Hall has a flagstone floor (HBP28).

During the second part of the Battle of Hogwarts, the fighting spilled through into the Entrance Hall from the grounds when giants and Centaurs entered the fray, followed closely by reinforcements from Hogsmeade. The house-elves, led in the assault by Kreacher, poured out of the door to the kitchens armed with knives and cleavers. From here the battle rolled into the Great Hall and the Death Eaters were defeated.

Hogwarts Castle, ground floor

Great Hall with levitating candles, PS/fGreat Hall

Vast chamber with an enchanted ceiling that mirrors the sky outside. Four long tables for the four houses. Closest to the doors from the Entrance Hall is Slytherin, then Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and next to the far wall, Gryffindor (this order may possibly be reversed, depending on how you orient the room to the entrance hall). The teachers sit at the High Table, a table on a raised platform at the front of the room.

A door behind the staff table allows a person to enter the Great Hall from outside without going through the main entrance (Hagrid enters this way to the welcoming feast in GF12); it isn't clear if this is the same door as the one leading into the antechamber.

There are windows into this room from the lawn outside (CS5).

During the climactic Battle of Hogwarts, the fighting ended up in the Great Hall. The last combatants were:

Molly Weasley took over fighting Bellatrix with her famous battle cry "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" and killed her. When Voldemort saw this his anger blasted his three adversaries away, but Harry stepped out from under the Invisibility Cloak and took on Voldemort and defeated him.

The Great Hall acted as temporary morgue and triage station, with wounded fighters begin treated on the platform at the head of the Hall and the dead laid out on the main floor (DH34, 36).

There is a smaller antechamber connected to the Great Hall, door behind the teachers' table, with a fireplace and many portraits (including that of the Fat Lady's friend Violet) off the Great Hall (GF17)

map of the ground floor

staff room

A long panelled room with mismatched, dark wooden chairs and a large wardrobe, sometimes inhabited by a boggart. The staff room is located off the Entrance Hall (PS16). The doorway is flanked by two stone gargoyles (OP17)

classroom eleven

A classroom located down the corridor leading off the Entrance Hall on the side opposite the Great Hall. This is one of several unused classrooms on the ground floor. Dumbledore arranged for this room to look like the middle of a forest clearing; Firenze, who couldn't easily negotiate the stairs, taught Divination in this room. He could lower the lights and display a starry sky with a wave of his hand. (OP27)

Filch's office

Filch's office is a small room with a single oil lamping hanging from the ceiling. It smells of fried fish. In it are filing cabinets with details of the misdeeds of students. Fred and George have an entire drawer to themselves.

In Filch's office you'll find:

probably on the ground floor because Filch took Harry "back downstairs" to write him up for befouling the castle, and because the Vanishing Cabinet which Peeves broke directly over Filch's office (CS8) was located on the first floor (OP)


Other areas

small chamber

This small chamber is located off the Entrance Hall, opposite the Great Hall, the first years wait to be sorted in this chamber.

broom cupboard

Located off the Entrance Hall; Harry and Ron locked Crabbe and Goyle in it (CS12); Hermione and Harry hid here while using the Time-Turner to wait for themselves to pass through the Entrance Hall (PA21)


Located opposite the doors into the Great Hall, this corridor has at least one classroom down it, Classroom 11 (OP). A side door in this corridor opens out into the courtyard where the students congregate during break times (CS)

Differences between the book and film versions

The film version of the Entrance Hall is quite different from the one described in the books.


  1. Harry found himself stuck in just such a staircase on his way back from the prefects' bathroom. He was almost caught by Snape and Filch but he was rescued by the fake Moody (GF25). Neville kept forgetting this particular step and had to be pulled out of it more than once.

    Neville's foot had sunk right through a step halfway up the staircase. There were many of these trick stairs at Hogwarts; it was second nature to most of the older students to jump this particular step, but Neville's memory was notoriously poor. Harry and Ron seized him under the armpits and pulled him out, while a suit of armor at the top of the stairs creaked and clanked, laughing wheezily (GF12).
  2. The door to the kitchens is an example of this. It's hidden behind a large painting of a bowl of fruit.

    (Hermione) seized his arm again, pulled him in front of the picture of the giant fruit bowl, stretched out her forefinger, and tickled the huge green pear.  It began to squirm, chuckling, and suddenly turned into a large green door handle. Hermione seized it, pulled the door open, and pushed Harry hard in the back, forcing him inside (GF21).
  3. Harry leaves the hospital wing, intending to go up to the seventh floor and the Gryffindor common room. He gets to the floor above the hospital wing and he is at Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Later in that chapter it states that they go up the marble staircase to get to the hospital wing (CS13).

  4. Harry ran into the castle to find Dumbledore when Mr. Crouch accosted him and Viktor near the forest. He was clearly heading for the second floor:

    Harry tore up the stone steps, through the oak front doors, and off up the marble staircase, toward the second floor.
    Five minutes later he was hurtling toward a stone gargoyle standing halfway along an empty corridor (GF28)
    This presented a question of how Dumbledore that year could have wound up in the Room of Requirement early in the morning when in urgent need of a bathroom, since the Room of Requirement was on the seventh floor in Harry's fifth and sixth years. In book 6 the entrance to the Headmaster's office was relocated to the seventh floor.

  5. Harry runs from the Entrance Hall to the hospital wing and clearly goes up farther than the first floor:

    The second that the old man's heels disappeared over the threshold into the Great Hall, Harry ran up the marble staircase, hurtled along the corridors so fast the portraits he passed muttered reproaches, up more flights of stairs, and finally burst like a hurricane through the double doors of the hospital wing, causing Madam Pomfrey - who had been spooning some bright blue liquid into Montague's open mouth - to shriek in alarm (OP32)
    Then later he leaves the hospital wing, goes down two floors, and ends up on the first floor:
    He wheeled around and strode blindly from the hospital wing into the teeming corridor where he stood, buffeted by the crowd, panic expanding inside him like poison gas so that his head swam and he could not think what to do...

    Ron and Hermione, said a voice in his head

    He was running again, pushing students out of the way, oblivious to their angry protests. He sprinted back down two floors and was at the top of the marble staircase when he saw them hurrying towards him.

  6. Harry leaves the library, runs around for a while on that floor, then realizes he's lost:

    [Harry] streaked off up the corridor, the book's shrieks still ringing in his ears. He came to a sudden halt in front of a tall suit of armor. He had been so busy getting away from the library, he hadn't paid attention to where he was going. Perhaps because it was dark, he didn't recognize where he was at all. There was a suit of armor near the kitchens, he knew, but he must be five floors above there.
    The kitchens are one floor below the ground floor, so Harry must be on the fourth floor. He discovers the room with the Mirror of Erised on this floor immediately thereafter, just down a narrow corridor.

  7. Harry, Ron, and Hermione leave the History of Magic classroom, talk to Colin Creevey, then go up a flight of stairs to find themselves on the second floor, where Moaning Myrtle's bathroom is:
    As they were shunted along in the throng, Colin Creevey went past.

    But Colin was so small he couldn't fight against the tide of people bearing him toward the Great Hall; they heard him squeak, "See you, Harry!" and he was gone.

    The crowd thinned and they were able to climb the next staircase without difficulty...

    ...they turned a corner and found themselves at the end of the very corridor where the attack had happened. (CS9)


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original page date 2-November-2000, this page spawned 6-Oct-2007.
last page update 6-Oct-2007 SVA