What Do You Know About the First Film Shot in Split?

Daniela Rogulj

Split may be known today as one of the Croatian set locations for the famous TV series Game of Thrones, but do you know when the first film was shot in Split?

As part of last week’s “Throwback Thursday” series by the Tourist Board of Split, Facebook followers of the page were asked if they knew about the first film ever shot in the Dalmatian capital. Because this was something I didn’t know the answer to myself, I felt that digging a little deeper was necessary.

It turns out that the first film shot in Split was the silent German comedy The Grand Duke’s Finances (known in German as Die Finanzen des Großherzogs). The filming took place from May to August in 1923, and the film first premiered in Berlin in January 1924 – almost 100 years ago!

Directed by F.W. Murnau, The Grand Duke’s Finances is set in the fictional Mediterranean island of Abacco. The story follows the ruler of Abacco (the Grand Duke) who must find a way to repay his debts. Faced with few options, the only thing that can truly save him is marrying a rich Russian Duchess. The filmed stars Harry Liedtke and Mady Christians and is less than 80 minutes long.

In addition to using the coastal town of Split as a filming location, The Grand Duke’s Finances was also filmed in Kotor, Zadar, and Rab.

Here’s a closer look at our beloved Split in the spotlight oh so many years ago…


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