King’s Landing: Croatia
(May contain spoilers)
It is said that a King’s abode is a holy place, it is a sanctuary of all things royal and extravagant. Now, imagine a king’s throne room and multiply its grandeur by hundred. This is what King’s Landing stands for. And this is where we will find, what it feels like to live in Westeros. Therefore, today we will take a trip to where all the politics and backstabbing and brothels of Westeros exist, welcome to King’s Landing.
Shooting for King’s Landing for the first series was done mainly in Malta. But, David Benioff found the real King’s Landing in the coastal town of Dubrovnik in Croatia. According to him the descriptions in the book, the sparkling sea, and beautiful architecture we exactly what he had pictured when he first came to Dubrovnik. As much as it is possible for tourists to “visit King’s Landing”, Dubrovnik is the destination to go to if you love the medieval feel and are a fan of architectural beauties.
On entering Dubrovnik you will be taken aback by the The City Walls of Dubrovnik and its resemblance to King’s Landing. The famed medieval walls of Dubrovnik enclose the Old City, and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The massive stone walls are located directly on the coast, similar to descriptions of King's Landing in the novels.
Next we move on to St. Dominika Street, located near a monastery and Dominican church, in the heart of the Old City. The narrow alleys of this part of town were heavily used in most of the market scenes in King's Landing, from Season 2 onwards.
Another picturesque beauty, Fort Lovrijenac (Fort St. Lawrence) is an important GOT location featuring several times in the series. It is the place where King Joffrey sits atop the wall and holds his small tournament in the Season 2 premiere, "The North Remembers". The discussion Cersei has with Littlefinger later in the same episode about the nature of power takes place on the porch of the fort.
One of the biggest events in King ‘Landing was the purple wedding, and rightly so. If you want to relive this most awaited event, Gradac Park is the place to be. This large public park is located next to the Old City of Dubrovnik, and is reached by climbing centuries-old steps. At the top there are excellent views of the surrounding Old City below.
The beautiful gardens that Sansa is sometimes seen walking in belong to Trsteno Arboretum, located just outside Dubrovnik itself, this was the location of the Red Keep's extensive gardens, first introduced in Season 3, the Tyrells continued to predominantly appear in these gardens through Seasons 3 and 4 (in keeping with that their sigil is a rose). The gazebo where Sansa sat down for lemon cakes with Olenna and Margaery has commanding views of the sea.
And lastly if you want to relive the recent most shocking scene of the Season 5 finale (you know what I am talking about), The Stradun, the main street is the place to be. Located between Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Sponza Palace. This place became Cercie’s nightmare and proved to a very powerful ending for the show.
Shots for a few other scenes not set in King's Landing were filmed in parts of Dubrovnik or its surroundings, these include, Minčeta Tower, the highest point in Dubrovnik. This was used specifically for the exterior and steps of the House of the Undying in Qarth. And Lokrum Island, a small island located just off-shore from Dubrovnik. A major tourist destination. A ferry from Dubrovnik can reach the island in about 15 minutes. This was the location of the garden party in Qarth that Daenerys is invited to in Season 2's "The Ghost of Harrenhal. In 1959 Lokrum was made the site of a large botanical gardens filled with exotic plants.
Apart from its historical significance and medieval glow, Dubrovnik is the living epitome of King’s Landing, if you are a GOT reader and a watcher, even the streets of the city will remind you of the incidences that took place on your tv screen and then they will come alive in front of your eyes.
Best time to go is in Summer that is April to September.
Per day average cost to Croatia is 66$. Dubrovnik is well connected with flights.
Also, Vaitor a travelling website hosts a special GOT trip to Dubrovnik, you can find the additional information here, http://www.viator.com/tours/Dubrovnik/Viator-Exclusive-Game-of-Thrones-Walking-Tour-of-Dubrovnik/d904-5360GAMETHRONES
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