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- 5 best things to do in Dubrovnik 2021
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- Best Dubrovnik wellness and spa
- Where to eat in Dubrovnik
- What to do in Dubrovnik: festivals, events…
- Best day trips from Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik for kids
- Game of Thrones and other filming locations
- 5 things you never knew about Dubrovnik
- 5 moments in history that shaped Dubrovnik
- How to be a Dubrovnik local
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- Real Estate in Dubrovnik
- English Speaking Dubrovnik
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Where was Game of Thrones filmed in Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik Old Town has become synonymous with King’s Landing. So many memorable scenes took place there. Actually, these include one of the most iconic scenes of the entire series (dragons excluded!). Specifically, we mean the famous Walk of Shame by Cersei Lannister in the fifth season finale.
The Stairs to the Great Sept of Baelor, where Cersei was forced to walk naked, are in fact baroque Spanish steps by Saint Ignatius Church. Of course, these were an amazing tourist attraction even before the filming of GoT.
Many plays and events have taken place at Lovrijenac fort in the past. In fact, it’s the most famous fort in Dubrovnik. In GoT, it became Red Keep, a King’s residence. Also, it’s where the Iron Throne is located.
More Game of Thrones Dubrovnik
Minceta tower, on the northern side of Dubrovnik Old Town, is where Daenerys keeps her dragons. Specifically, it’s called the House of the Undying in the series.
The Rector’s Palace, St. Dominic Street, Ethnoghaphic Museum of Dubrovnik, the atrium of the Belvedere Hotel, Pile, with the view of the Bokar and Lovrijenac forts and Bokar. These are also the locations you’ll recognize. Significant portions of the plot of the series take place.
The fortress on the Lokrum island, just off Dubrovnik, helped create Qarth. Gradac Park, a park just west of the Lovrijenac fort was the setting for the Purple Wedding between King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. (Spoiler alert for something that happened more than 5 years ago: the wedding does not end well for the young king). Take a closer look with this early TCN guide.
Game of Thrones fan in Croatia? It goes much further than King’s Landing – your complete guide.
Star wars: The Last Jedi
News of Star Wars coming to film in Dubrovnik went off like a bomb during a quiet winter of 2016. Flying high on the wings of Game of Thrones fame, there was a lot of expectations from the film world’s most beloved franchise. Ultimately, the film didn’t garner the success everyone had anticipated and Dubrovnik ended up playing the fans’ least popular location. Dubrovnik takes on a role of Canto Bight, a gambling mecca of the Star Wars’ fictional universe. With plenty of computer generated and physical additions to the city streets, Dubrovnik ends up hardly recognisable on screen. Still, the city is forever immortalized on the big screen as a part of Star Wars universe and that is a big deal for die-hard fans.
Which Star Wars scenes were filmed in Dubrovnik
Outdoor scenes including chase scenes from Canto Bight were filmed in Dubrovnik. Main protagonists of that part of the story, Rose and Finn, are seen coming to the city and fleeing it by causing a stampede of horse-like animals known as fathiers. Landing scene was filmed just above Banje Beach, while the rest were filmed within the city. Main street – Stradun – and Od Karmena Street were used for the chase scenes. Interior of Rector’s Palace and stairs leading to Dominican Monastery complex were used as well, but the scenes were cut from the theatrical version of the movie.
Big Budget Bollywood
Bollywood movies are not known to be filmed in Dubrovnik. In fact, The Fan was probably the first one. The Fan is a story of a crazed fan out to destroy the star he’s obsessed with. The filming took place in Dubrovnik among other places and used a few locations within the Old Town area. Filming was done on Stradun, above the Old Town Port, within the port, and some action scenes actually used the iconic Dubrovnik rooftops. What is interesting to note is that The Fan shows Dubrovnik portraying itself rather than a fictional location or a foreign town.
Shah Rukh Khan in Dubrovnik
The Fan being filmed in Dubrovnik was a big deal mainly because of its lead actor. Shah Rukh Khan, arguably India’s biggest movie star plays a double role in the film. He plays both the crazed fan and the star he’s obsessed with. The arrival of the mega popular Shah Rukh Khan didn’t go without the attention of his fans, some of which travelled from their home countries to Dubrovnik, trying to get a glimpse of him during the shoot.
Which Movies and TV Shows Were Filmed in Dubrovnik?
Too many to name them all here. Dubrovnik has been a popular filming destination for decades, but prior to the new millennium it was mainly popular with lower budget productions. During various periods of Yugoslavia, many national productions made their way to Dubrovnik as did some East German and Italian film companies.
Captain America (1990)
There were some less than conventional films shot in the city like unintentionally hilarious Captain America (1990) which used several locations in the city. Dubrovnik was used to portray Italian locations with Lovrjenac Fortress being the setting for the climactic battle at the end of the movie.
Robin Hood (2018)
In the new millennium Dubrovnik has risen quickly as a popular filming destination. 2018 saw the release of big budget action movie Robin Hood. The film was shot in part within the historical centre of Dubrovnik and features big Hollywood names Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2021?)
Latest big budget movie to be filmed in Dubrovnik is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent starring Nicholas Cage as himself. It was shot on locations in Dubrovnik and Cavtat and is due to be released during 2021.
Aside from the inevitable Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has lately seen some other TV shows being filmed in the city. Most notable is Lionsgate distributed Knightfall which ran for two seasons (2017 – 2019). Third season of the TV series Borgia was filmed partially in Dubrovnik in 2014. Because of the inability to film in Jerusalem, a few scenes of the series Dig were shot in Dubrovnik’s Old Town which played a role of the famous city in Israel.
1. Home to a real James Bond
Dusan ‘Dusko’ Popov was a double agent working for MI5 during World War II. He had the code name ‘Tricycle’. The Abwehr coded him ‘Ivan’. Born 10 July 1912 in Titel, Austro-Hungary, his family were very wealthy.
The Popov family moved to Dubrovnik when Dusko was very young. He spoke fluent German and had many highly placed German friends in the Nazi party. But, he secretly despised the Nazis. Actually, he’d had extremely unpleasant brushes with National Socialists during his university years in Freiburg. There, Popov earned a Ph.D. in law. Subsequently, he returned to Dubrovnik and briefly practiced as an attorney.
Eventually, Clement Hope enrolled Popov as a double agent. Hope was a passport control officer at the British legation in Yugoslavia. Initially, he gave Popov the codename Scoot Thereafter, Popov moved to London. His import-export business provided cover for visits to then-neutral Portugal. Actually, for almost all the war, its capital, Lisbon, was linked to the UK by a weekly civilian air service.
Role in World War II
Popov used his cover position to report periodically to his Abwehr handlers in Portugal. He fed enough MI6-approved information to the Germans to keep them happy. The Germans were blissfully unaware of his true actions. Assignments given to him were of great value to the British in assessing enemy plans and thinking. Popov was famous for the playboy lifestyle he lived while carrying out his perilous wartime missions.
In 1941, he was dispatched to the US by the Abwehr. Thereafter, he was to establish a new German network. He was given ample funds and an intelligence questionnaire. Of its three typewritten pages, one entire page was devoted to highly detailed questions about US defenses at Pearl Harbor. However, Popov made contact with the FBI and explained what he’d been asked to do.
During a televised interview, Dusko Popov related having informed the FBI of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. He did so on 12 August 1941. However, for whatever reasons, neither the FBI or its chief, J. Edgar Hoover reported this to their superiors. Orr, if they did, no action was taken in regard to this apparent German interest in Pearl Harbor.
Troubles with Hoover and Womanising
Popov said Hoover was quite suspicious and distrustful of him. And, according to author William ‘Mole’ Wood, Hoover was outraged upon discovering Popov had taken a woman from New York to Florida. He threatened to have Popov arrested under the Mann Act if he did not leave the US immediately.
In 1944, Popov became a key part of the Operation Fortitude deception campaign. Known as a shrewd womaniser, he lived an extravagant lifestyle. He published his memoirs ‘Spy, Counterspy’ in 1974. Popov has been cited as among Ian Fleming’s models for James Bond. He died prematurely in 1981, aged 69.
2. Book keepers, pay homage to the founder of accounting
Benedikt Kotruljevic, Republic of Dubrovnik local, is considered the founder of accounting. He was the first to write a book on commerce and trader’s act of conduct. He did so in the 15th century.
3. Quarantine, a concept born in Dubrovnik
Quarantine was first introduced in 1377 in Dubrovnik. And, in 1423 the first permanent plague hospital (lazaretto) was set up nearby. It was open by the Republic of Venice. Specifically, it was on the small island of Santa Maria di Nazareth.
4. Dubrovnik has more rain than London
Of course, we’re talking about general amounts of rain. Drizzle is not common. In fact, rains here tend to be very heavy, but very brief. Sometimes they cause erosions. Winter is the period of most rain. Actually, Dubrovnik annually has around 250 sunny days.
5. Human rights in a city where slavery was abolished 600 years ago
While much of Europe was accruing a lot of wealth by enslaving people, the Republic of Dubrovnik decided they didn’t want to have anything to do with that. In fact, they regarded such actions as shameful. Indeed, they prohibited slavery in the early 15th century. Thus, Dubrovnik became a pioneer in human rights. Interestingly, Dubrovnik was not the first. Nearby Korcula island abolished slavery some 200 years before, in 1214.
Want to learn a little more about Dubrovnik? Here are 25 things to know.
Barbarian Destruction of Epidaurus
Before town of Cavtat was Cavtat, it was Epidaurus. After Romans colonised a previous Ilyrian settlement and renamed it to Epidaurus, it became a trade hub. The area has been populated for quite some time and according to the surviving records, it is safe to say Epidaurus was a stable town. This changed at the beginning of 7th century AD when Epidaurus found itself under attack by invading Barbaric tribes. These, mainly Slavic tribes, continued attacking until they completely destroyed the city in the year 614. Refugees from Epidaurus fled to the area of today’s Dubrovnik and started a new settlement. Actually, we don’t know for certain whether they started it or simply expanded it, but they were responsible for staring a town known as Ragusa – the old name of Dubrovnik. So, without the destruction of Epidaurus, we might now have gotten Dubrovnik.
Formation of Dubrovnik Republic
Dubrovnik was a merchant centre amidst a politically turbulent area. It was also very small. This meant it constantly had to balance the interests of bigger powers around itself in order to survive. The Venetian rule went on from 1206 to 1358 and within that period Dubrovnik grew wealthy and had mastered self-governance. When it went back under Croatian rule in 1358, the city government was not thrilled.
Croatia was a part of Croatian-Hungarian Empire. Being a part of such a big force meant Dubrovnik would lose its small size and relative independence – very things that made it into a powerful merchant force. As a small place with no military power, Dubrovnik and its citizens posed no real threat to anybody. This meant easy access to foreign territories. Not only did this make it easy for Dubrovnik merchants to do their job, but they were one of the rare people in Balkan region who could have such a freedom of movement.
It is because of this that Dubrovnik representatives asked for and eventually got a form of autonomy from the Croatian-Hungarian Empire. It was an incredibly important development. Dubrovnik had its own money, flag, diplomatic offices and government. It was essentially its own little country.
Ottoman Empire Conquests of Balkans
Soon after Dubrovnik became autonomous the entire Balkan area was trembling before the power of the Ottoman Empire. Turks came to this part of the world with the military force none of the countries around could match. The destruction went through Serbia and Bosnia and Croatia. All the while Dubrovnik managed to survive. Not by fighting, but by making itself important to the Ottomans.
Dubrovnik paid yearly dues to the Ottoman Empire for its freedom, but that wasn’t the key to its survival. By being a small, catholic merchant force, it was possible for Dubrovnik Republic to act as a trade link between the muslim east and the christrian west of the Mediterranean. It soon became the only christian country with allowed continental trade routes through Ottoman controlled territories. At the same time, it was still under the protection of the Vatican and the Pope. The city profited immensely. This was known as the Golden Age of Dubrovnik.
Opening of Hotel Imperial in 1897
In January 1897, Dubrovnik saw the opening of the first large, modern hotel in the city. With centuries of being a popular trade port, Dubrovnik was no stranger to visitors from all over the globe. However, it was in the second half of the 19th century that modern tourism was born. With existing hotels being insufficient for many of the foreign travellers to stay in Dubrovnik, it was Baron Viktor Kalchberg who came up with the idea of building a modern hotel in Dubrovnik. At that time entire Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.
It is safe to assume that without this hotel Dubrovnik would still find a way to become a beloved travel destination it did. However, Imperial was built and it became a symbol of a new era in Dubrovnik’s history, that of a travel destination.
Croatian Homeland War
History is long and it only feels its length when it is recent history. Over the centuries the city has gone through so many changes and life altering events, it is difficult to say which are truly the most important. Still, from today’s perspective, it is difficult to deny the dramatic impact of the war of 1990s in Dubrovnik.
During some 7 months long siege, the city was shelled extensively. Its UNESCO protected city centre was half destroyed. The war took away from Dubrovnik the very thing that partially defined it through centuries – foreign visitors. This tiny city has been one of the most cosmopolitan places in all of the Balkan region. First because of the international trade and then because of tourism. After the war, it was empty and broken. Without tourism locals soon found that there was something missing in the city. Sound of foreign languages and many eyes glued to the breath taking scenery that is the Old Town. Buzz around town with people having the time of their lives, creating memories and simply being happy. It was all gone. Because of this, the return to the worldwide travel scene was nothing short of spectacular.
After the war of 1990s, Dubrovnik came back more focused on tourism than ever before. The fall of some other industries is not something that should be taken lightly. It made the city dependant on an industry prone to huge oscillations. We are witnessing this during the COVID 19 pandemic as well. Regardless, Dubrovnik is today a bigger tourism magnet than ever. It is hard to say what the city would look like have it not been for the destruction and the shock of 1990s, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same.
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