Dubrovnik has been featured in countless Croatian and international film productions over the last century and welcomed some of the world’s most iconic directors, including Michael Curtiz, Orson Welles, Jiří Menzel, Hayao Miyazaki, Roger Corman, and Francis Ford Coppola. However, it has only recently begun to draw massive interest from filmmakers and global audiences, after being featured in several popular and highly anticipated productions. While the city’s resume is not yet quite as diverse as that of the Croatian capital, the sheer size of the productions Dubrovnik has hosted in the last five years has made it by far the more popular destination for film and TV buffs.
Croatia’s new generation of technical film crews, as well as the country’s stunning landscapes and talent for looking like other places, have made historic cities like Zadar, Trogir, Split and Šibenik an attractive option for foreign producers looking for strong production value for less money, and Dubrovnik is no exception. In recent years, the city has lent its charm to HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones, the 3D action adventure film Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, and Disney’s upcoming fantasy epic Star Wars: Episode VIII.
The city’s medieval architecture and well-preserved buildings have also made it an interesting alternative to Venice in the BBC’s Casanova, to 17th century Italy and Spain in the final season of Showtime’s The Borgias, and to present-day Jerusalem in NBC Universal’s Dig. Dubrovnik has also lent a rich backdrop to the Napoleonic wars in BBC One’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and locations like Stradun, Sponza Palace and Revelin Fortress made an appearance in ABC’s Missing, starring Ashley Judd.
Dubrovnik Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones, which made Dubrovnik one of its homes in season two, is the production most responsible for both putting the city on the Hollywood map and flooding it with tourists from all over the world throughout the year. Dubrovnik is the main filming location for King’s Landing, the seat of the Seven Kingdoms, and stands in for several other fictional places in the show.
A number of the city’s landmarks have been featured heavily in the last few seasons, including Lovrijenac Fortress (the Red Keep), Minčeta Tower (House of the Undying), and the islet of Lokrum (garden in Qarth). Other locations in and around Dubrovnik that have become major pilgrimage destinations for fans include the city walls, Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, Stradun, Fort Bokar, St. Dominic Street, the Trsteno Arboretum and Gradac Park. Since 2011, the production has expanded to Split, Trogir, Klis, Šibenik, Baška Voda, Kaštel Gomilica, Mosor mountain, and several other places, giving parts of Westeros an unmistakably Adriatic feel.
Star Wars Filming
Star Wars: Episode VIII, the biggest production Dubrovnik has welcomed to date, will feature several familiar settings standing in for unknown locations on a planet in a galaxy far, far away. These include Stradun with Onofrio’s Fountain, the city walls, Rector’s Palace, Banje Beach, the old port, and several narrow streets in the Old Town. While the details are kept under tight wraps, the eighth installment of the epic saga will no doubt introduce the Force to the region’s tourism industry when the film opens in December 2017.
Spend Holidays on the Dubrovnik Riviera
Visitors looking to spend their summer vacation on the Dubrovnik Riviera can book their stay at the Sheraton Hotel, located on the seafront in the village Srebreno, only 5 minutes from Dubrovnik. Opened in 2015, the luxurious seaside resort offers premium accommodation, the finest local and international cuisine, and wellness and spa facilities to guests throughout the year. Guests can also use the hotel’s rent-a-car service and shuttle or boat transfers to explore Dubrovnik and the surrounding region.
Images: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons/Tony Hisgett (Big Onofrio’s Fountain, Stradun), JoJan (Rector’s Palace atrium)