Corona was built on an island and grew over many years. The oldest known of Corona's line of monarchs is King Herz Der Sonne. During his reign, Corona was in a bitter war with their rival kingdom, Saporia. Under King Der Sonne's rule, a complex tunnel system was built beneath Corona to safely move the kingdom's knights and supplies wherever King Der Soone needed. A detailed map of the tunnels and their secrets were recorded in a journal, by Der Sonne.
At one point, Corona was invaded by Der Soone's sworn enemy, the ruthless General Shampanier. As her minions ravaged the kingdom, Shampanier made it to Corona Castle, where she battled Der Soone personally. In the midst of their battle, Shampanier finds that the final pages of Der Soone's journal contained a profession of his love, intended for her. The feelings were mutual, and the two declared their love. They were later married, and with their union came peace between their two lands.
Centuries after King Der Soone's reign, Corona was ruled by King Frederic and his wife, Queen Arianna. During her pregnancy, Arianna became gravely ill, forcing the citizens of the kingdom to search for a fabled magic, golden flower with healing abilities. Once it was recovered, the flower was given to Arianna, and its power saved both the queen and her daughter, named Rapunzel. Due to the flower's powers, Rapunzel was born with golden hair that also had the ability to heal the sick and injured. Because of this, a woman named Mother Gothel - who had previously hoarded the flower's power for hundreds of years to keep herself young - broke into the tower, stole Rapunzel, and hid her deep within the forest outside of Corona's reach. Rapunzel was then raised as Gothel's daughter, and her power to heal was hoarded by the witch once more. To ensure she never lost the flower's magic again, Gothel forbade Rapunzel from ever leaving the tower.
Eighteen years after her kidnapping, Rapunzel met a notorious thief named Flynn Rider. With his help, she managed to escape Mother Gothel, return to Corona, and reunite with her parents. Rapunzel then resumes her rightful place as princess and heir to Corona's throne.
Places of interest
- The Castle: This is the home of Queen Arianna and King Frederic, their daughter Rapunzel and later, their son-in-law Flynn Rider.
- The Village: The village is the area where the actual residents live in Corona. The city surrounds the castle on the island.
- The Market Place: It is in this area that Rapunzel and Flynn explore and dance.
- The Sea: Where the residents on boats release the floating lanterns on Rapunzel's birthday every year and where Rapunzel and Eugene witness the lanterns during the song "I See the Light".
- The Prison: The Prison where Flynn was held until he was to be hung. Flynn remains here until five Pub Thugs and Maximus help him escape.
- The Chapel: The Chapel is the place where Rapunzel and Eugene get married (Tangled Ever After).
Where is the Kingdom of Corona located?
- "The world is from a storybook: It is thus familiar and, although fundamentally ‘European,' not located in any one country in particular," according to The Art of Tangled.
- Yet the Kingdom of Corona is undeniably a place with specific cultural influences, set in a very clear part of Europe. Tangled co-director Byron Howard said the designers made the castle look distinct from other Disney fairy tale castles by giving it "Eastern European features like copper domes." Production designer Doug Rogers said the inspiration for the wilderness of the Kingdom came from central Europe: "We researched what the major types of forests were in Eastern Germany, Poland, and Hungary."
- So while no one country ever had all the elements that made the setting for Tangled indelible, it is possible to trace the clues that designers have left – both in Tangled and in their comments about it – and triangulate fairly specifically where the Kingdom of Corona might have been had it ever existed.
- By looking at five things: architecture, nature, landscape, politics, and the styles of dress in Tangled, the best fit for a real-world Kingdom of Corona would be along the Baltic Sea coast of Germany and Poland at some point from 16th to the 18th century.
The island-town shows two distinct styles of architecture:
The style of copper "onion domes" that make the castle distinct emerged in Russia and never spread farther west than Germany. Onion domes flourished in eastern and central European architecture from the 15th century onward.
On the other hand, the thick-timbered houses of the town date from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance. While timber-frame architecture (also known by the German term "fachwerk") is prominent in France and England, designers have said the look of the town buildings borrows extensively from Pinocchio, which Disney set in a village in northern Italy.
Those two types of architecture intersected only in central and eastern Europe from the 16th to the 18th century.
Production designer Rogers said 'the forests of the Kingdom were modeled on those of eastern Germany, Poland, and Hungary'. Of these three countries, though, only Germany and Poland have sea coasts. The ships at port in Corona, as well as the waves visible in the background below the magic flower in the prologue strongly suggest that the Kingdom's island-town is in the sea, not a large lake.
The Baltic Sea coast is overwhelmingly flat. There are no places that match the hills that Flynn runs into with the stolen crown, or the steep-walled valley that hides Rapunzel's tower. But one region at least comes close.
In the north-central part of Poland, a range of modest hills runs to the Baltic. The tallest hill (Wiezyca) is more than 1,000 feet high – enough to help conceal a tower. Also, the hills are part of the Kashubian Lake District (Szwajcaria Kaszubska), giving the area lots of locations for exploding dams.
The list of kings who lived along the Baltic Sea coast is a short one. It begins and ends with the Swedish monarchy. The kings of Poland as well as of the numerous German states of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance lived inland, while most of the coastline was dominated by the Hanseatic League – an economic alliance of thriving port cities essentially ruled by the merchant classes.
A potential alternative is German Pomerania, which was ruled by a succession of dukes who basically fulfilled the role of king from the Middle Ages until 1637.
Gothel's dress is from the Renaissance, which is 400 years before the time period of when the film takes place in the 1780s. This was in an effort to emphasis how the two characters don't match up.
The most distinctive costumes in Tangled are the uniforms of the Kingdom Guards, which are drawn almost directly from 19th century British soldiers' famous redcoats. The armoured guards chasing Ryder greatly resemble the real life Household cavalry Life Guard's uniform including the red tunics and breastplates. However, the distinctive shako riding hats worn by the castle guards were first worn by Polish and Hungarian Hussars in the 18th century.
Also, women's fashion seemingly neared the simplicity of the Queen's dress at some point in the 18th century – a transition between the mounds of fabric of the Elizabethan era and the lighter Jane Austen-style dresses of the Napoleonic era.
Plotting the real-world Corona
Of course, as a "storybook world", Corona was intentionally designed not to stand up to this kind of geographic and historical scrutiny. But when Rapunzel and Flynn bend over their atlas in the "Kingdom Dance" scene, they look at a map that clearly shows the East Indies – the real world. In that spirit, here are the five most probable sites for where Rapunzel and Flynn would find themselves on that map.
- Stockholm, Sweden:
- Stockholm offers the advantages of a real king and queen as well as an island setting that would have been about the right size in the 17th century. But the surrounding landscape has no real hills, and it is a stretch architecturally – not being a good candidate for either a town of timbered houses or a castle topped by onion domes.
- Wolgast, Germany:
- The coastal town of Wolgast served as the seat for the Dukes of Pomerania from the late Middle Ages until the 17th century, giving it something close to a monarchy. Wolgast is a good fit architecturally, with timbered houses and a castle from which the dukes ruled. In addition, the castle is situated on an island in the harbor. The overall impression, while not exactly like Corona's Mont Saint-Michel-like island rising to the castle on its highest point, still evokes the quaint feel and island setting of the Kingdom of Corona.
- Seventeenth-century depictions of Wolgast (see gallery) show low hills around it, though nothing on the order of those shown on the seashore in Tangled. A higher set of hills – the highest in Pomerania – lie a further 30 miles inland. The Helpt Hills (Helpten Berge) are 587 feet high, but they are not extensive and rise only slightly from the surrounding upland landscape.
- Wolgast reached the height of its authority in the 16th and 17th centuries, which predates by about a century the fashion in Tangled. By the 18th century, Wolgast had been conquered by Sweden, and a century later it was under the control of the Prussian Kingdom in Berlin.
- Gdynia, Poland:
- The Pomerelian coast of Poland offers the only Baltic coastal landscape that approaches the Kingdom of Corona. The architecture also fits neatly. The chief city of Pomerelia, Gdansk, had timbered houses and a town hall that included some of the architectural elements apparent in the Corona castle (see gallery). But not only was Gdansk in the Hanseatic League (no king), but it was the biggest city in the Hansa during the 17th century, with as many as 70,000 people. A quaint port town, it was not. For Renaissance central Europe, it was more like New York City.
- Some 13 miles north, the current port city of Gdynia didn't really exist at the time the Kingdom of Corona would have, but with a little license for fairy tale fiction, it could be a better match. The low hills come right to the coast, Corona-like. Only a few miles inland, the hills top 600 feet, and 23 miles southwest is the Kashubian Lake District.
- While Gdynia would have sworn loyalty to the far-off Polish king, a class of Polish nobles known as magnates was able to accrue substantial landholdings – called "ordynacja" estates – in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wikipedia says these estates "were veritable little principalities" and "rivaled the estates of the king". Though these estates were centered in the south, where the Polish nobility was much more entrenched, a fictional Corona could be an ordynacja to "rival the estate of the king" – perhaps owned by a nobleman who became a large landowner from wealth made in the Hanseatic trade.
- "Corona" is the Spanish, Catalan, Hungarian and Italian word for "crown".
- In addition, the Polish and Bulgarian word is "korona", and the Portuguese word is "coroa".
- Like the kingdom itself, the word is also associated with light and especially the sun, describing both the faint ring visible during an eclipse and the rings of sunlight filtered through clouds.
- The flag of Corona resembles one of the older flags of Macedonia.
- In Tangled Ever After, Corona is simply called "The Kingdom".