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.


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