Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Game of Thrones Location Photos in Split [Part 1/2]: The Fortress Klis

I have been in Game of Thrones territory before on this blog when I showed some location photos from the city Dubrovnik and island Lokrum, where this TV show was shot (and still is today). But, during my latest trip to Split, I got the chance to visit two more spots where HBO shoots Game of Thrones in Croatia, one of which is the Fortress of Klis, that I will be showing you in today's post.

For fans of Game of Thrones it might be interesting to see how they use the existing fortress and expand it digitally in post production, and for others I hope It will still be worthwhile to explore this really old fortress on the Adriatic Sea.

Our Travel to Split is made up of multiple parts. Other parts include:
Part One: Celebrating New Year's Eve in Split
Part Two: The Klis Fortress (Game of Thrones Location Photos 1)
Part Three: Diocletian Palace (Game of Thrones Location Photos 2)
Part Four: Visiting the Seaside Promenade
Part Five: Our Stay at the Radisson Blu Resort
Part Six: A Walk along the Winter Beach

click on the images for a bigger view

The Klis Fortress is a medieval fortress situated above a village bearing the same name, near the city of Split. It was the seat of many Croatian kings, as well as guarding the frontiers during the Ottoman wars in Europe in the 14th century.

The City of Meereen

In Season 4 of Game of Thrones, these sights were used to create the city of Meereen. In the world of Game of Thrones, Meereen is a big city, with pyramids where wealthy man live, but it is also a slave city. This next shot shows a still from Season 4 with actors leaning against the wall where I'm standing, in the first image. Of course the show transforms the surroundings digitally, which I will show you later on.


Arriving to the Klis Fortress

It's really easy to arrive to this fortress. Right from the main road that leads to Split, there will be a sign to Klis, which is the village where the fortress is located. Entrance fee is 20 kuna (2,50 €/ 3$). There is a big parking lot on the foothill of the fortress, and huge steps that lead up the hill.



From up here, you really get the feeling that you are in Westeros, which is the fictional continent from the world of Game of Thrones. Wast fields are spread right in front of the fortress and in the distance the Adriatic Sea can be glimpsed. I was lucky to visit this place at sunset, and got some great colors in these shots.


Transformation of the Klis Fortress

In this next shot, you can see the crew of Game of Thrones, setting up the set extensions from the main fortress. The fortress itself is not in a very good shape, so there is work to be done in order to fill up the gaps in the walls, create steps and redo the flooring.


Here is a shot of this scene from my visit. The golden glow from the sunset gave the surroundings some interesting light. Using real fortifications really helps out with the look and belivebility of the show.


In the end, here is a finished shot from the show. You can see the changes they have made in the fortress, as well as the digital extensions in the far background.



The History of the Klis Fortress

The ancient Illyrian tribe of Dalmatae, which held a stronghold on this spot, were the first known inhabitants who lived on the site of what is today Klis Fortress. They were defeated several times, and in the year 9 AD, finally annexed by Romans. From the early 7th century on, Klis was an important Croat stronghold, and later, one of the seats of many Croatia's rulers. But because of the strategic value of the fortress, this is one of the most valuable surviving examples of defensive architecture in Dalmatia.



Next up is another screenshot from Game of Thrones, that shows some digital set extensions on the fortress.



Me on the entrance of the fortress.


Heading Home

As the Sun had set over the Adriatic Sea, we made our way back. It was really great to stand here, and figure out the shots they used in the show, and for a moment think about the history of this place, and how it mirrors with the extensive history of Game of Thrones.




In Part Two, that will hopefully be up on Friday, I will show you the old city of Split, specifically the Diocletian Palace, where some of the upcoming Season 5 of Game of Thrones is being shot, but for non-Game of Thrones, fans, it will be interesting as well.


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into real and fictional history, and the stories behind it.



45 comments:

  1. HI Mersad That was fascinating to see how the film was made and the contrast with your shots. The scenery is lovely around there. Looking forward to part 2.

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  2. This is just amazing! What a wonderful opportunity you had to be there. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. this is an amazing place, we do not have HBO so have not seen Games of thrones, but it looks like i would like it.

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  4. Tolle Bilder. Mit den Figuren und Menschen im Kostüm habe ich es leider nicht verstanden, ich verstehe zu wenig englisch dazu. Liebe Grüße

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    1. Hab Dir 'ne Mail geschickt mit etwas Erklärung.

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    2. Habe keine Mail bekommen (zykade67 at yahoo punkt com).

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  5. what a neat place, and yes, they utilize it well in that show!

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  6. I do watch Game of Thrones (later when it comes out on Netflix) and that does look like the perfect setting for the show. Interesting to know how they use it as a foundation they can elaborate on. They can do so much now with digital alterations. Glad they're repairing it. :)

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  7. If I ever have the option to relocate I am coming your way. Such beauty. Rebecca

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    1. You can come visit if nothing else :) Thanks Rebecca.

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  8. An awesome place and your captures are fantastic as always, Mersad!! A great way to start my day!! Thank you for sharing your talent and your travels!!

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  9. Hello Mersad, the fortress is amazing, lovely views.. I have not seen the show on HBO, I must look for the next viewing.. Awesome photos! Have a happy day!

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  10. Now that was mega interesting Mersad.. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones so it was fascinating to see where it's actually filmed.. can't wait for the next season to start!

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    1. So glad to read from a fellow Game of Thrones fan, and even more glad that you liked the story and photos.

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  11. Great photos of this fabulous setting!

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  12. Once again, some great shots, Mersad!

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  13. Interesting images and information! Love the "Westeros" shot, gorgeous view.
    I have not watched GoT, but they certainly knew how to pick great locations from what you are sharing here. Thank you!

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  14. Yes! What fun to see it this way. :) We don't watch the show, but are aware of it. This is much more interesting to see the actual setting.

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  15. While I have not followed the Game of Thrones, these scenes are still intriguing. I love how you parallele film sets and reality. The whole area certainly has a mythical feel about it.

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  16. I feel like I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't seen Game of Thrones but, in spite of that, I enjoyed this tour anyway. Such beautiful and historic scenery.

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  17. I'm not a Game of Thrones fan, but I do think this castle is really cool. Nice photos!

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  18. This looks awesome. I'm a fan of the show but I would still be impressed by these shots even if I wasn't.

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  19. What a lesson in history as well as seeing the location of Game of Thrones. I could just envision the scenes as I look at your photos...You really take us to some beautiful places and I am so appreciative.....

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  20. I have not seen King of Thrones but I enjoyed seeing the fortress. There is nothing like that in this part of the world, Thanks for sharing yours.

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  21. Nice group of pictures and interesting commentary on the many centuries of history associated with this beautiful old fortress. I can see why this would be a desirable location for filming.

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  22. We're huge GoT fans, so I loved seeing your pics. I know that New Zealand has created a whole tourist industry out of where Lord of the Rings was filmed...looks like Europe & Morocco could do the same thing :-)

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  23. All very creative shots for H ~ fantastic!

    Happy New Year,
    artmusedog and carol

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  24. What an amazing place!

    Mollyxxx

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  25. Wow, that's a really beautiful location!

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  26. Wow! How gorgeous! I've never watched an entire episode, but that's cool!

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  27. What an amazing place. The fortress is pretty cool itself but the view from it is amazing. I can't say I've ever watched game of thrones but seeing how they used this place .

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  28. I have never seen Game of Thrones but I still found this post very interesting. It's a beautiful location and it's amazing how they can digitally enhance things after it's been filmed.

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  29. So fascinating and enlightening to a Game of Thrones fan.

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  30. I don't know anything about the Game of Thrones, but it's a beautiful setting! {:-Deb

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  31. Kind of a merger of reality TV and fantasy. I'm not a Game of Thrones fan (I've heard of it, that's all), but the pictures of the ancient fortress were amazing. - Margy

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  32. Great angles in your pics, Mersad! Still, a happy New Yearr:)

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  33. I'm a fan so this was especially interesting. Thanks for taking us along!

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  34. Das ist wirklich eine sehr beeindruckende Burganlage - als Kulisse für die Serie wirklich perfekt! Tolle Fotos!

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  35. Just gorgeous, Mersad. Game of Thrones is on my list to catch up on on Netflix.

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  36. You can feel the history within your photos, I can just imagine what you felt being there. Beautiful set!

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  37. This was SOOO fascinating, Mersad! I do not watch Game of Thrones, but love history and I do my share of history-oriented show watching anyway, and the use of the digital enhancements was really interesting! Love the fortress! It's beautiful and has an amazing history!

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  38. Ask any Aussie Uni student where they want to go on their next European adventure and they all say Croatia, andit is not hard to see why it has become the 'must visit' destination from your photos. I loved this post Mersad and looking forward to the next instalment. I must put watching Game of Thrones on my 2015 to do list!
    Wren x

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  39. I have read the books, but have not seen the show. But Wow! Perfect setting for those locations in the book. Michelle

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