Historic sites used in Game of Thrones
Castle Ward – (Winterfell)
Castle Ward is an 18th-century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford, in County Down, Northern Ireland and used as the backdrop for the fortress of Winterfell. Castle Ward has been the home of the Ward family since ca. 1570. Originally known as Carrick na Sheannagh and owned by the Earls of Kildare, it was bought by Bernard Ward, father of Sir Robert Ward, Surveyor-General of Ireland.
Dubrovnik – (King’s Landing)
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Dalmatia. The walls of Dubrovnik have been a popular filming site for the fictional city of King’s Landing.
The prosperity of Dubrovnik was historically based on maritime trade; as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
Lovrijenac Fortress – (The Red Keep)
Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress, often called “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”, is a fortress and theater located outside the western wall of the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, 37 m above sea level.
Fort Lovrijenac was used as the location for the Red Keep from season two, whilst the bay in front was used for the climatic scenes during the Battle of Blackwater.
In real life, the fort is famous for its plays and importance in resisting Venetian rule, it overshadows the two entrances to the city, from the sea and by land.
Dimmuborgir – (Wildling Camp)
Dimmuborgir is a large area of unusually shaped lava fields east of Mývatn in Iceland. The Dimmuborgir area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed citadel and was used as the location of where the ‘King Beyond the Wall’ Mance Rayder had his Wildling camp.
Grjótagjá – (Love scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte)
Grjótagjá is a small lava cave near lake Mývatn with a thermal spring inside and was used as a location for filming the fifth episode of the third season of Game of Thrones.
In the early 18th century the outlaw Jón Markússon lived there and used the cave for bathing. Until the 1970s Grjótagjá was a popular bathing site, but during the eruptions from 1975 to 1984 the temperature of the water rose to more than 50 °C (122 °F) making bathing impossible.
Essaouira – (Astapor)
Essaouira, formerly known as Mogador, is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. The modern name means “the little rampart”, a reference to the fortress walls that still enclose part of the city.
Essaouira was used as the location for Astapor, also known as the Red City which is the southernmost of the three great city-states of Slaver’s Bay.
Roman bridge of Córdoba – (Long Bridge of Volantis)
The Roman bridge of Córdoba is a bridge in the Historic centre of Córdoba, Andalusia, southern Spain, built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir river and was used as the location of the “Long Bridge of Volantis” in season 5.
Alcázar de Sevilla, Seville – (Water Palaces of Dorne)
The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace in Seville, Spain, originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings and used as the location for the Water Palaces of Dorne.
The palace is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain, being regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula.
Zafra Castle, Guadalajara – (Tower of Joy)
The Castle of Zafra is a 12th-century castle located in the municipality of Campillo de Dueñas, in Guadalajara, Spain.
Built in the late 12th or early 13th centuries on a sandstone outcrop in the Sierra de Caldereros, it stands on the site of a former Visigothic and Moorish fortification that fell into Christian hands in 1129. The castle location was used for a flashback scene where Lord Eddard Stark supposedly defeated Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning.
Alcazaba of Almería – (Dorne)
The Alcazaba of Almería is a fortified complex in Almería, southern Spain and used extensively during the shooting of season 6 in Game of Thrones. The word alcazaba, from the Arabic word al-qasbah, signifies a walled-fortification in a city.
In 955 Almería gained the title of medina (“city”) by the Caliph of Cordoba, Abd ar-Rahman III: construction of the defensive citadel, located in the upper sector of the city, began in this period. The alcazaba, provided not only with walls and towers but also with squares, houses and a mosque, was to be also the seat of the local government, commanding the city and the sea nearby.
Castell de Santa Florentina – Horn Hill
The Castell de Santa Florentina (Spanish: Castillo de Santa Florentina) is an 11th-century medieval castle in Canet de Mar,Catalonia, Spain, transformed into the seat of House Tarly (Horn Hill) in season six. It was built by Guadimir de Canet (born 1024) on the foundations of an Ancient Roman villa.
Verdala Palace Grounds – (Illyrio Mopatis’s House)
Verdala Palace is a palace in the Buskett Gardens, limits of Siġġiewi, Malta. It was built in 1586 during the reign of Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle, and it now serves as the official summer residence of the President of Malta.
The site of Verdala Palace was originally occupied by a hunting lodge, which was built in the 1550s or 1560s during the reign of Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. The hunting lodge was expanded into a palace in 1586, during the reign of Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle.
The grounds of the palace were used as the filming location for where Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen meet Khal Drogo and his khalassar before the wedding.