Now any Game of Thrones fan worth their salt knows Croatia plays a key role in the series. A lot of Daenerys’ scenes were shot here in Split and scenes from Kings Landing were shot in Dubrovnik. It’s very easy to take for granted while watching the series the reason behind the location choices on Game of Thrones however once you arrive in Croatia and start to learn a bit more about it’s rich history, you start to gain a better understanding and bigger appreciation for how magnificent these cities are!

Diocletian (owner of said Palace) was born in Dalmatia (which is part of Croatia including Split) and was born very much in the ‘lower class’ of society back in the day. He fought his way up and eventually become Emperor of Rome and was one of the very few Emperors to have actually retired. He was feared and revered back in those days but he was awful to Christians and according to our guide, this is why he’s not as well known an Emperor as some of the other Roman Emperors. Oh and about the Palace, half of which was actually used by the military and the other half by Diocletian… If you wanna know more check out the full Wikipedia article on Diocletian here and the article on Diocletian’s Palace here. I’m here to walk you through the Palace in photos  and see if you remember any of the scenes from Game of Thrones (which was pretty much all I was doing – hehehe!)

We started off on the outer walls of the palace…

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Before making a beeline for the entry

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As soon as you step in, you start to get a sense of how impressive the structure is and how huge the grounds are…

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At the end of the hallway there are some stairs to take you right up to a courtyard…

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A courtyard which is one of the most impressive and well know parts of the palace! ‘The money shot’ is obtained by walking to the other end of the courtyard but we were too taken with the stories of Diocletian and how he managed to not only rise in the ranks but keep usurpers away that we pretty much missed that shot (at this point, I got it much later on)….

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The sphynx below is actually from Egypt and is one of Diocletian’s ‘forcefully obtained’ artefacts. The sphynx is over 3,500 years old – much older than the palace itself!

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This place we were standing on is the infamous scene at the end of episode 4 in Season 5 – without the scaffolding of course (I won’t say what happens so I don’t ruin it for those who haven’t watched it) but if you have, you probably recognise the floor, even with all the scaffolding going on….

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This part below is a bit harder to explain as a scene, it’s an important part in Mereen but I can’t explain it without ruining an episode so I’m just gonna have to keep schtum about it.

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It’s funny (in a good way) how inhabited the palace grounds are – there are people’s houses actually within the palace ground and the palace  is unlike any other palace I’ve seen in that respect. I love how integral it is to the city – the people not only get to appreciate their history but actively use it and live in it.

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This one below is where the prostitute helps the Sons of the Harpy in an inn (or is it a pub? Whatever, people were staying over and drinking so it’s whatever those places were called in the books 😉 )…

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Finally, we gave up on trying to spot all the sights (including the one where Daenery’s two dragons are) and actually try to take in as much of the city as possible…

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I’m a huge fan of the Dalmatian architecture, the stones and their venetian windows (which is actually a big part of the history of Split)…

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Now here’s the photo of Diocletian’s Palace that you’re bound to be used to seeing all over the internet! 🙂 (N.B. The entrance in front is where we walked up from.)

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This city and the palace ground are perfect for getting lost in. They seem to span on for ages though narrow side streets and back alleys and are home to some of the quaintest little shops and restaurants available.

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These are the other walls of the city… Diocletian Diocletian Diocletian

Okay, I admit it, we got drawn back into the Game of Thrones trivia again. These streets are where the slaves of Mereen had their very first uprising against the masters…

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As soon as you step into it, you start to remember parts of the episode and I have to admit, it’s kinda impressive to see all these streets that you’ve only ever seen on one of the most successful TV series ever.

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Eventually, we make our way back towards to city centre, passing by landmarks hidden in plain sight…

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..and tiny little streets.Diocletian

I heartily recommend a visit to Diocletian’s Palace, even if not for the Game of Thrones aficionado in you but for the lesson in Croatian history and the unique story of the people of Dalmatia! Even though I was obsessedby GoT, I got to learn more about the history than I anticipated and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

 


Hand Luggage Only srprsme competition


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