The Croatian location for Game of Thrones!

stone columns of old palace

One of the amazing locations for Game of Thrones was the city of Split. You can see below a film from my 2016 visit to that great historical site.

What makes Split so interesting is that the entire place is built within a two thousand year old Roman palace. It was constructed as a kind of personal retirement home by the Roman emperor Diocletian – notorious as one of the last pagan rulers of the empire and a persecutor of Christians. But he was also a reformer, so successful in reorganising a tottering empire that he retired from office.

Diocletian came from that region – along with a string of Balkans emperors in the later Roman empire. They were tough military men who ruled by the sword. But at the time it was the only way to keep the imperial show on the road.

Today, you can walk within the walls of Diocletian’s massive residence within which a warren of medieval streets later developed. And the main square is essentially what would have once been the courtyard leading up to the main ceremonial entrance. It’s very amusing to go to shops and see Roman columns still rising out of the basement.

Unsurprisingly, it was chosen as a location for the Game of Thrones TV series. So we get the underground parts of Diocletian’s palace and a nearby medieval fortress helping to create Meereen. You may not recognise the backdrops instantly because the basic historical structure was used and CGI added.

But I think even though Game of Thrones was utter fantasy, it evoked elements of the Middle Ages to great effect.

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