Marco Polo is a popular American drama series shown on Netflix. Marco Polo is set in the 13th century in the Mongol Empire. However, as exotic as it sounds, the TV series was filmed in countries like Malaysia, Italy, Hungary, and Slovakia. In this story, I would like to introduce to you Marco Polo filming locations that took place in Slovakia. You can see them in the last few episodes of the second season.
As the name of the series suggests, it is about the life of Marco Polo. He was an Italian explorer who traveled through Asia along the Silk Road between the years 1271 and 1295, and he described in detail a new culture, back then unknown to Europe. His books inspired many renowned explorers such as Christopher Columbus. So, that is about Marco Polo as a real person. However, Marco Polo, as the TV series, is so far the second most expensive TV show in the world, right after Games of Thrones, even though it has only two seasons. It was also nominated for numerous awards and won the American Society of Cinematographers Award and the Australian Production Design Guild Award. Considering these facts, if you haven't watched the show yet, I bet you are at least curious by now.
Shots from Slovakia and Hungary were used in the series as a resemblance of Mongolia, where the story takes a place. Slovakia is, of course, different from Mongolia in many aspects, so producers needed to adjust some scenes and surroundings to look more "Mongolian". The reason why they used Central European countries as shooting locations is simply because of the logistics. Moving around Slovakia or Hungary is easier, and both countries are smaller compared to Mongolia so that the whole crew could move from one place to another faster. And, when we talk about production, faster equals cheaper. The Marco Polo TV crew spent in Slovakia about three weeks of intensive shooting (working 12 hours a day) that involved 500-550 foreign and 100-150 Slovak crew members.
Shooting began in the High Tatras mountain range. In the series, you can see many scenes showing the most beautiful Slovak mountains, and according to producers, the High Tatras region resembles forests of the Siberian taiga, which also appears in the series. Some shots were filmed from a valley called Velická Dolina, where there is a mountain hotel Sliezsky Dom, which you can visit, or even decide to stay there. Other shots come from Slovenský Raj, a very popular national park in Slovakia with dense forests and rocks. In the series, you can see Súľovské Skaly, the cliffs of different shapes resembling a needle or a gate. Súľovské Skaly was supposed to substitute Mongolia and China, but it also provided a picturesque backdrop for Kublai Khan's (emperor of the Mongolian Empire) vigil.
If you are a true traveler in your heart, you surely loved your history classes where you learned about the most famous explorers like Marco Polo and their adventurous journeys. This TV series by Netflix shows his life, his journey, and all the beautiful countries he visited. Luckily, you don't need to travel to Mongolia or China to discover the filming locations of Marco Polo; visiting Slovakia might just do the job.
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