Mid September the film crew of one of the most popular TV series in the world, produced by HBO from America and Croatian production company Embassy Films – Game of Thrones – moved to Šibenik. After Dubrovnik and Split, as well as different cities in Ireland and Spain, the series' producers chose to film in Šibenik.
The old city centre thus started to resemble one of the cities from famous literary/TV series – the city of Braavos. Scenes filmed in Šibenik will be broadcast in the fifth season, or even the sixth, as some of the fans presume.
While the fans on forums speculate on which „role“ the city might play, and the producers refuse to say a word about it, royal city of Šibenik (named after Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV whose statue is located at the entrance to the garden of Robert Visiani) got another opportunity to look and feel - royal.
Some of the filming locations in the historical centre are The Square of the Republic of Croatia, surrounded by historical edifices such as The Cathedral of St. James (UNESCO World Heritage Site which will host the wedding scenes, an event important in the fifth season), City Hall and the palace Pelegrini-Tambača, all became a part of the city of Braavos.
Even before this renaissance city square started to resemble this imaginary city adored by numerous fans all over the world and inhabited by Braavosi (i.e. characters such as, to name just a few from the last, fourth season, king Stannis Baratheon, Davos Seaworth, Salladhor Saan, Arya Stark...) the St. John’s fortress overlooking the rest of the city and the islands, already hosted a set from the series.
Interestingly enough, Braavosi are just like residents of Šibenik, skilful seafarers and swordsmen, therefore we can easily imagine the giant statue of the Titan of Braavos at the entrance of the St. Anthony channel guarding the city and its residents.
But it is not only the ancient stone walls, the palaces, narrow streets and the magnificent cathedral with the accompanying St. John fortress that help create the popular kingdom. Many locals got a role as extras, and we should also mention that even the city's mayor and the vice-mayor applied for casting.
Filming crew on the square of St.James Cathedral (Photo: Mira Schwyter from the window of her apartment)
One of the interesting facts regarding Šibenik and Game of Thrones is that the city's patron saint St. Michael, depicted in art history with a sword in his hand and a dragon under his feet, is a dragon slayer. This would surely not appeal to one of the series' main characters, the Mother of Dragons known as Daenerys Targaryen ili Khalees, played by Emilia Clarke.
In any case, Šibenik and its surroundings are definitely photogenic. Many music videos were filmed in Krešimir's city or nearby, and the same goes for the rest of the county. The most watched Croatian film of all times „Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku“ as well as „Svećenikova djeca“ (both directed by Vinko Brešan from Šibenik) were filmed nearby – the first one in Minerska Bay, and the second on the island of Prvić.