The romance between Girona and ‘Game of Thrones’ series

In just minutes, tickets to the free screening of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 premiere on the 25th of April sold out in Girona. Just 40 km away from Barcelona, the walled medieval city of Girona set the scene for some of this season’s episodes based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally acclaimed novels. Some Girona locals were even featured as extras in episodes. High demand for tickets to see the season premiere led Girona officials to include a second screening, but fans looking to buy tickets caused the online system to crash as others waited in line in person to get their tickets. Although some will be unable to attend, negotiations between ‘Game of Thrones’ producers and Girona city officials may bring the show’s cast and crew back to the city to film season 7 of the hit TV series.

Screenshot of 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 where the stairway of Girona's cathedral is perfectly recognizable (by ACN)
Screenshot of 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 where the stairway of Girona's cathedral is perfectly recognizable (by ACN) / ACN


April 25, 2016 08:53 AM

Girona (CNA).- Tickets to both free screenings of the season 6 premiere of HBO’s hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ sold out within minutes in Girona. Just 40 km away from Barcelona, the medieval city was filmed to set the scene for several episodes in the latest instalment of the show. On the 25th of April, fans of the show can view the premiere of this season’s first episode, ‘the Red Woman’, at the Municipal Theatre of Girona to see some of the city’s highlights come to life on the big screen. While some fans will still be unable to attend, negotiations between ‘Game of Thrones’ producers and Girona city officials are being determined to see if the show’s cast and crew will return to film more of the city’s Roman walls and medieval structures for episodes in season 7.

Despite the high demand for tickets, fans can still take part in the fun by exploring the city streets decorated with elements from the show. During the opening week of the new season, fans can also go see a replica of the series’ infamous Iron Throne. Also, screenings of season 5 episodes, trailers for season 6, and a documentary detailing the cast and crew’s filming around Spain will be shown before the premiere airs later in the evening of the 25th of April. 

Girona’s Roman architecture and medieval charm captured in season 6

For two weeks in September 2015, some Girona locals got to star in the show as extras while the crew filmed in ancient medieval highlights in the city. With the city’s welcome, the cast and crew filmed outside the Cathedral of Girona, a Romanesque church complete with two bell towers, a cloister garden, and a large Gothic portal and staircase perfect for the show’s aesthetics. 

During filming, the crew also shot scenes in the narrow, winding cobble streets of the Jewish Quarter and the enormous arch and staircase of la Pujada de Sant Doménec. Additionally, scenes were shot outside of Sant Pere de Galligants, a Romanesque style Benedictine abbey, and the Basilica de Sant Feliu. 

Negotiations to bring Season 7 as well 

Councillor for Culture, Carles Ribas also said that with the positive reaction to the free screening and last season’s filming, the city is making the “appropriate steps” to negotiate ‘Game of Thrones’ return to Girona for season 7 filming.  

“We cannot create false expectations. Nothing is agreed or signed with HBO. We are talking and we said that we are willing, that we would collaborate with the same exquisite treatment they received last summer”, Ribas said.

Beyond this willingness to work with HBO again, nothing concrete has materialised from the city council. However, Ribas and the city council recognise that the return of the hit series to Girona would be positive for Girona’s tourism industry and for the continued success of the show. 

‘Game of Thrones’ features Spain from north to south 

While Girona served as an authentic medieval city to film in for the fantasy drama series, the cast and crew travelled all over Spain from north to south to shoot in different locations. South of Girona, producers shot film in Castell de Santa Florentina in Canet de Mar. While the castle fort built in the 11th century used to protect the port against pirate raids, the location featured similar Roman architecture similar to that found in Girona.

Further south, the show also shot film to be featured alongside Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) plot line in the show in the arid, desert-like park of Bardenas Reales. Near Valencia, scenes from the Castle of Peñíscola were also filmed for this season. Additionally, the crew did some filming in parts of Almería, Spain and near the Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain.