Even if you don’t initially recognize the name, city of Dubrovnik in Croatia holds a special place for the fans of massively popular TV show Game Of Thrones. With the show being based in fantasy world, one would think that much of the locations and imagery are computer-generated, but that’s not entirely true. Producers of this amazing show have made a smart decision to search for authentic filming locations rather than to rely on CGI. One of the places they set their sight on is city of Dubrovnik, or for fans of the show better known as – The King’s Landing.
Main attraction and historical site The City Walls of Dubrovnik are the second largest on the planet, right after the Great Wall of China. The walls are reaching almost 2 kilometers in length, 1,940 meters to be precise, and peaking at 25 meters in height. With thickness of 3 meters along the sea and 6 meters on the inland side, these medieval walls are surely impressive construction and a fitting location to appear in epic fantasy series such is Game Of Thrones.
Placed on UNESCO list of world heritage sites, the walls were originally built in the 10th century, and were later fortified further in 1453. The City Walls of Dubrovnik have survived countless siege attempts throughout the centuries, plus one world-shaking earthquake that took place in 1667. Within each of the four corners is nested a unique fortress, able to withstand the heavy assaults and defend the city. Probably most noteworthy is Minceta Tower, with its base been used in the show as a filming location for House of Undying in the town of Qarth. In reality Minceta presents the highest point on the city walls and serves as a symbol of this unconquered city even today. I might be impartial, but I think that even Daenerys Targaryen along with her dragons would have a hard time conquering these walls.
One of the most infamous scenes from the show was shot right among the walls. That is of course the Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame. While the toll of the bells might rattle your nerves even now, when visiting Dubrovnik you can actually recreate this entire walk by yourself, with at least one less Septa following you. The elegant Baroque stairs where her walk of shame begins are called Jesuit Steps of Dubrovnik, designed by famous Italian architect Pietro Passalacqua in the beginning of the 18th century.
As understood, not many people are fans of Lord Petyr Baelish, better known as Littlefinger. But regardless, while in Dubrovnik you should still visit his brothel, although in reality it is a much more family friendly locale – a well known ethnographic museum.
Located along the western walls is The Pile Gate, one of the most splendid fortress entrances available for visit, long ago used as an entrance to The Old Town. This grand entrance has been used multiple times for the show and in reality it is aesthetically fitting for any king or queen with the hunger for conquest. Initially built in 1537. much later than majority of the walls, the gate remains open all the time today and serves mainly as a historical location and popular tourist attraction.
Rather than crossing the fearsome Narrow Sea in a rickety sailing ship for months on end, all that just to get to the ancient port city of Qarth, you can rather just take the ferry and have a comfortable and much shorter trip. Located only 600 meters off the mainland, Lokrum Island is a place where many of the scenes set in Qarth were filmed. It is a small island with an amazing view and rich history. In fact, in the 17th century it was used to quarantine disease carriers. It’s a fitting turn for an island full of Gothic-Renaissance style architecture.
You can probably recall beautiful gardens where many of strolling conversation took place and plot after plot was twisted and hatched? Gardens of Trsteno Arboretum is the real-life name of this location. The garden is one of the oldest arboretums in the world having been built in the 15th century by Gozze’s family, an aristocratic family of Croatia. In 1948. the garden was declared a natural rarity and has been registered on the list of protected natural monuments list as a monument of landscape architecture in 1962.
As such it is definitely an impressive place to visit, as long as you keep your ears out for birds and spiders eavesdropping on you from the shadows.
Dubrovnik has been attractive destination for many years, but it is more than obvious that Game Of Thrones has made this city into attractive locations for people not only interested in history but in popular culture as well. And I can say that Dubrovnik is proud of being a stage for such an amazing show. Even some accommodation in Dubrovnik are playing along and are themed around the show as well. All that is a great honor and amazing opportunity for the city.