Some of the most suggestive attractions of Game of Thrones, with many others, are the locations in which the story is set. The places chosen for the setting of the show maybe have been part of the success of the series. The fantastic Icelandic glaciers, the sunny Andalucia, the Croatian historical buildings started having a big touristic success since the beginning of the show. Who doesn’t wish to spend some time where they have been?
In Spain, Andalusia has an important role in the story. Seville, Osuna, and Cordova narrated important moments of Game of Thrones.
The Water Palaces of Dorne was the Alcázar of Seville (Spain). Although the Alcázar is an area protected by the UNESCO, Game of Throne’s production was the first to have the privilege of filming there. In fact, it is the location of the gardens of Dorne. The Royal Palace was firstly built as fort for the Moors, and it is still possible to admire the Islamic influences.
The Plaza de Toros in Osuna has had a very important role in the fifth season, being the setting for the Daznak’s Pit. It is where Tyrion meets Daenerys for the first time. Also one of the biggest battles of the series and most spectacular battles of the story took place here, and also one of Daenerys’s dragoons appeared.
In the series it is not hard to find very big pieces of history; as the Long Bridge of Volantis, which really is the Roman Bridge of Cordoba (Puente Romano de Cordova). Qith sixteen arches, 247 meters long, the bridge is there since I century b. C. It is also possible that the Via Augusta passed for this bridge.
Croatia is the place in which more scenes are filmed. Mostly in Dubrovnik, but also in Sibenik and Split, many important places of the series are depicted.
Dubrovnik in Croatia, King’s Landing, has always been a beautiful place, with its beautiful old town, but only thanks to the representation in Game of Thrones it is attracting fans from all around the world. Since the second season it has a big importance in the series; moreover, the UNESCO declared the old town as World Heritage Site.
The Lovrijenac Fortress (Dubrovnik), also known as “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”, is used since the second season, with the help of the CGI, to represent the house of the King: the Red Keep. The fortress is on a rock of 37 meters at the city’s gate. In the bay, the Battle of Black Water took place.
The uninhabited island of Lokrum near to Dubrovnik was the set for Qarth: “The Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be”. Moreover, in the island there is a huge natural park and an amazing beach.
The Trsteno Arboretum (Dubrovnik) is one of the most beautiful parks on the Adriatic coast, and it is the place chosen to represent the gardens in King’s Landing.
In 1991, Serbian bombardment destroyed the Bellevue Hotel in Dubrovnik, and what remains has been used for the most spectacular and ferocious duel of the history of television: “The Mountain and the Viper”, one of the most famous scenes of the fourth season.
Near to Dubrovnik, the beautiful Sibenik was the location for more the one important elements of Game of Thrones. Since the fifth seasons it was Braavos, the Free City of the Iron Bank and of the Temple of the God of Many Faces.
For Daenery’s Throne Room the choice was amazing. Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the most majestic buildings of Croatia, built in 300 A. D. for the will of the Emperor Diocletian. Moreover, this is another area protected by the UNESCO.
The Kliss Fortress, 5 km from Split, has been shown only ones in the show: in the fourth season, when Daenerys frees the slaves of Meereen.
The strong and freezing North needed to be represented by a worthy place: Iceland.
The famous loved scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte that nobody will forget was set in a small lava cave, with thermal spring inside. It is in the Mývatn Lake in Iceland: the Grjótagjá cave.
Vatnajökull is one of the biggest ice caps of Europe, according to the Guinness World Record, and has the widest visual in the world. Because of its arduous spirit, it is the perfect place to recreate the Land beyond the Wall, with the widest visual in the world.
One of the most important places in the history of Iceland is the Þingvellir National Park, another area protected by the UNESCO, where Arya Stark and the Hound had their journey together.
More or less all the places in the North (under the Wall), those full of woods and nature, are filmed in North Ireland, exactly where Winterfell is.
Castle Ward in Strangford Lough is another place that has become famous together with Game of Thrones, because is the location of one of the most important reigns of the show: Winterfell.
The perfect set for the forests in the North (of the reign Winterfell) is the Tollymore Forest Park in Bryansford. A forest of 630 hectares were Ned Stark finds the direwolves.
In the Country Londonderry, the Mussenden Temple represents the Dragonstone Beach, where Melisandre burns the Old Gods. The temple, on the 11 km of sand (Downhill Strand), if you notice, appears more than once in the series.
One of the most suggestive places used in the series is the Dark Hedges (Ballymoney), the path of Kingsroad, the longest road of the Seven Kingdoms. The amazing path full of trees, before the show, was known only by the citizens of the place; now it has an extraordinary popularity.
Another place in which many places of the amazing show are filmed is Malta, mostly for the scenes in King’s Landing.
Medina, the old capital of Malta, is one of the oldest cities of Europe. The Gate of the City is used to recreate the King’s Landing Gate.
Before Dubrovnik, Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara was the setting for the Red Keep Gate (house of the King), the biggest fortification of Malta. This is the biggest fortification in Malta, build by will of Giovanni Francesco Ricasoli between the 1670 and the 1698.
Deanerys and Drogo’s Wedding was depicted in the gem of the Mediterranean Azure Window. Perfect for the scene, it is a limestone natural arch in the island of Gozo.
The Fort St. Angelo in Birgu originally was a castle, then used ad military base. Although the fortification was destroyed during the World War II, now it is being restored, and has been used in the first season as the dungeon of the Red Keep Dungeon.
Another fort in Malta is Fort Manoel in Gzira, built between the 1723 and the 1755 for Antoniuo Manoel de Vilhena. Even if the fans don’t know this place with its real name, it is the location of a scene nobody will forget easily. It is the Great Sept of Baelor, where Ned Stark was executed by decision of Joffrey.
Even if the places in Morocco are not numerous, it is a very important place in the show: Souss Massa Draâ, Marrakech Tensift El Haouz, and the Atlas Corporation Studios are exactly what we see on the screen.
Another UNESCO area is Aït Ben Haddou in Souss Massa Draâ, where both Yunkai and Pentos were depicted. Before Game of Thrones the city was used for other important productions, such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia.
Essaouira is a very old City in the area of Marrakech Tensift El Haouz and it is well known for its kasba (borough). Moreover, it is both Astapor and the Slaver’s Bay.
The Atlas Corporation Studios, in Ouarzazate, is the biggest cinematographic studio in the world, where many movies have been filmed, as Gladiator, Babel and, of course, Game of Thrones.
There is no doubt that these locations had their role in the success of the series. Moreover, all of these seem to be extraordinary destinations for the Game of Thrones‘s fans, and also for those who doesn’t like the show. Everybody would appreciate these amazing places, from the hot and sunny Andalusia, to the freezing mountainous Iceland. But the fans will enjoy spending time around the places they started loving watching the series.