GAME OF THRONES IN GIRONA
As the new season of the popular TV show hits screens tonight we re discover areas of small town Spain where the story left off... Text and photos by Karishma Upadhyay
Shame! Shame! Shame!” two teenage girls , before t apse a fit of giggles on the o the La Catedral de Girona. In season six of HBO’s megahit TV show Game of Thrones, these emble steps inside the walle o Girona made their as the imposing fa o The Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing. This is where J annist along wit yrell s up o battl aith . Wh oodth crowd of thous aits for Queen Mar yrell’s Walk of Sha , r Jaime rides his ho the st the cath o resc uee he Spar . secr ance be ing To n and t y High Sparsaves aery from the humiliate that befell Cersei Lannister in the previous season. Later e ason, the same façade and the bell tower are blown sky high.
LORD OF THE FLIES
On a crier morning last Nov em
, when I visited the Catalan city, th atmosphere was a lot lessdc. But Girona, a pretty 4 - ute dri rain journe Barcel rough g eenh ill e Am arm counthe costa Brava, is just as cular as it is on the . nd stunning views is at th has incn with t rd Geo artin in his sy serie of Ice re. Its sc position eV ia A–the ancient road th nected Rome to Cadiz in uthwestern Spain – mean that Gir was repeatedly at ta ck ed,egitt he nickname‘ the cat house ges ’. Tits 2,0 r-old hi, e city en home Iberi, ans, Ar , ews an ngians.
Much of the hist or is beguiling charm lies cathedrals, windi nay sand red-tiled roofs that
ave remained miraculously int r centuries. It’s no won a the ers of Game rones sed di parts city as ons forth ar yin ty of Old Town, ng’s g and Braavos in th - s season. The ‘destrn’ of th Sept and Ar ng Bra eans th a’ n like lo Tmw ll shoot n Giro . Thro s Game rones’ ans like to emsel ave come pouring in to reviously overlooked city. I strolled uphill through n - script streets from th n statio one of the pretty s over t Onyar row art ouses flan r ver in es of oc , old andve on that elected in e water. ave Eiffel built one of rd g es, and its red iron lattice resembles his tower in Paris.n the walled city, Ir et ra er out en by Ser J and his son Pu jada ei Ma , er the archway, bef ering Girona’s fam uare. First stop on e f-guid me of Thr our wa mposin roque f of the entury edral ona that dominates Gi s skyline. The churc ’ erior is equally magnifi nd hou over adaroqu eels, incl ing one that tells t ry of Sa Narcissus ), th ons ai na. Le as it th en the Fnv adey to reopen Narcissus ’, whereupon as war les rove the marauder Giron This expla y fly-s chocomosqu rona able at motional ct iona, re a must- cal pro . The rom the top of the Caral steps are postcard perfect. M view, though, is different fr at Queen Mar ga e rn thes.e plaza is in wit -hued - s, but is ow,t slopes sa(Crqu oise the dis . n real , ough, the nearest beach -minute drive away.
The steps of La Catedral de Girona inside the walled city made their debut as the imposing façade of the Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing in GoT Season 6
s ar ar an cew GoT s had to so heavily on ec ia leo re-create apart of nK in gd oms.“Un li kr locations where alpec ia ls were used ate We , Giron ery recogni n Gam rones. They n’t hav ange much,” bragged , our waiter at Café L’Arc, where I stopped for a late breakfast. dug into a portion amb tomaquet (bread with o, a Catala alty) a ate of n e famo rian H n local e, Glor red so re GoT tri . pparen , ook actor Nikolaj Coste - au’s (who plays Ser Jaime) unt double several days to train horse to climb the cathe eps.
INTRIGUE IN THE AIR
reakf ne, it we to ex e war reepsa ne roads oubled raavos, the richest an powerful among the nine Free Cities of Essos. This is wh blind Arya Stark tra ed into ‘girl with ne ’. J use cathede Care la For ca where, in episode , e Wai e out a b rainin on to . is was e Arya e Waif became sworn es. Carly Ann, a fellow ronies from Texas, pointed out that the whole stick fight scene was shot in one spot. “Only the position of the camera keeps changing so you see the cathedral or the frame of a door leading into a garden,” she explained, ile w ag thefiqu en ce on a on her e. y suggested a quick pit stop at local favourite El Vermutet fo of vermut (vermout er all, i ‘a la hora rmut’ our o uth), a st a litt noon. Vei sin ts to fed reviva ss Spai he Catalans ve thei - unch aperitif. ack on the cobbled streets of the Jewish Quarter, I traced Ar ’ anicked footsteps du er epic - down c th The . started at arrer sbe Josep Cartaña, s near the French Gar ehind the Cathedral, w own to ant Domè , eafy te at the f econveantDc before g up a a Sant Domènec, th lo ieval staircase whe ya upends a barrow nges. M op was th-cen ys Ara ab Bat at were t back uring the fight se etween Arya and The Waif. his is the only GoT location in the quaint city that lived up to its small screen avatar. I don’t know if it was the low light or the shadows cast on the still water by colonnades, but there was intrigue in the air. And I was instantly transported to Westeros.
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