Check out the Spanish city otherwise known as Essos and Westeros
It’s not often you see a group of people delight in impersonating a homeless blind girl beaten with a stick, or an amputee aristocrat leading an army against his incest bastard, but Girona brings it out in people. Specifically, Game of Thrones people.
And ever since HBO’s fantasy behemoth started filming in this medieval city in north-east Catalonia, hardcore fans have flocked to explore the real-life setting of series six and beyond. Now it’s your turn.
Arriving in Girona with the landscapes of Westeros and Essos in mind – it’s possible to visit both within one day in Girona learning about two millenia of history, culture, architecture and food via an in-depth nine-hour walking tour.
Scroll down and hit next to see home to Arya Stark during her difficult ‘girl with no name’ phase in season six…
Braving the streets of Braavos
Girona doubles as the Free City of Essos, home to Arya Stark during her difficult ‘girl with no name’ phase in season six. On the downside, she suffered temporary blindness and merciless beatings from the malicious Waif. But on the upside, the reality shows the beautiful sprawling alleys of the city’s Medieval Quarter.
Girona’s Saint Mary cathedral
Don’t be fooled by the darkened camera filter and gloomy extras in these scenes: Bisbe Cartaña, the street where Arya has fisticuffs with the Waif, is surrounded by the immaculate architecture of the Gothic side of Girona’s Saint Mary cathedral
The steps of Sant Marti
And as the tour goes on, a pattern emerges: the more danger Arya is in, the more stunning the setting.
Take the steps in front of Sant Marti convent. This filming spot for the knife-wielding Waif’s pursuit of a severely wounded Arya is one of Girona’s hidden gems.
Although a lot quieter than in Arya’s day, rolling into this concealed alley feels like strolling straight into the 17th century
12th century baths with their eight Romanesque columns
And then there are the Arab baths: setting of Arya’s chase to the death with the Waif. Another horrible moment for the Stark girl; but a great experience for fans.
These 12th century baths with their eight Romanesque columns offered the pristine medieval architecture that make Game of Thrones world seem so authentic. It’s just a shame Arya was too busy running for her life to really appreciate it.
Despite being based on the other side of the Narrow Sea, Girona is the setting of the capital of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms. In particular, Girona’s cathedral is home to Great Sept of Baelor of season six. And it’s easy to see why.
Despite being based on the other side of the Narrow Sea, Girona is the setting of the capital of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms. In particular, Girona’s cathedral is home to Great Sept of Baelor of season six. And it was easy to see why.
On arriving at the 11th century church you will see The 91 steps – the very steps Ser Jaime Lannister galloped up to confront the Faith of the Seven – amass into a small mountain. And the colossal cathedral itself dominates the skyline of the old town, its colossal Baroque façade stretching skywards.
It’s truly massive – the building is home to the world’s largest Gothic nave.
But it still wasn’t quite grandiose enough for Game of Thrones: a little bit of CGI magic was needed to make the building worthy of the High Sparrow.
Scroll down and hit next to see how this scene looked in Game of Thrones…
Firstly, the biblical scenes on the front of the church were erased…
Famous for her personal problems including checking in and out of rehab and sexual harassment lawsuits, Kesha has remained in the limelight since she burst onto the scene in 2005. Here she is in an adorable selfie that is not as raunchy as the rest, but shows her sexiness off perfectly while leaving the rest to your imagination.
And the square beyond the steps was digitally demolished, replaced with a seaside view.
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