Our third day in Dubrovnik turned out to be a Nerdfest. It hadn’t escaped our notice that Dubrovnik was one of the main locations used in the mythical drama series Game of Thrones. Being a big budget programme, Dubrovnik has been digitally enhanced quite a lot, but much of it was still easily recognisable as Kings Landing.
The first thing you notice is that the city is really well preserved. This must be partly why the producers chose the place as a medieval capital. It’s a working city, with everything you’d expect from a regional centre, including museums, galleries and night clubs. Unfortunately, it didn’t have Lena Headey while we were there.
It was built in the 15th century, and immediately drew attention from competing city-states, like Venezia (Venice to you and me). So they set about fortifying the settlement, with great success. The wall is so big and impressive, you can walk around the city on top of it. Stopping to wipe the sweat from your brow every couple of minutes, or pausing for reflection at one of the forts.
Dubrovnik has two ports. The main port looks too organised, so the programme mainly uses the smaller and more charismatic Pile Harbour to the North. It’s difficult to stand there without imagining all the goings on, like the naval battles and the royal receptions.
There are lots of small islands along the Dalmatian coastline. I guess this would be a great place to bring a boat. Or is it a ship? I never know the correct protocol.
We spent a couple of hours with a lovely Croatian tour guide. She was an expert on all things Game of Thrones. I felt sorry for her, having to drag lots of bored tourists around the city. But she genuinely seemed to enjoy telling us all about the various locations and scenes filmed there. And we were genuinely lapping it up.
It’s not often you get to explore such a place as Dubrovnik, which has lasted hundreds of years without being significantly changed. I would definitely rank it amongst places like Venice for preservation. This is remarkable, considering it was only twenty-something years ago that the place was being hammered by enemy forces in the Yugoslavian civil war.
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that some of the roof tiles are redder than others. They are the new ones.