The Game of Thrones TV series was all the rage, turning into a visual masterpiece over the years. The action, drama, and mind-blowing landscapes have kept most of us on the edge of our seats for eight glorious seasons. Now that the tv-show has come to an end, we can try visiting its filming spots across the world. Many choose Croatia, Spain, or Scotland since the significant scenes were filmed there. One doesn’t have to necessarily venture to these countries to get a GoT (the abbreviation for Game of Thrones) vibe. Romania offers some similar landscapes at a fraction of the cost. You can get a Romanian Game of Thrones experience and at the same time, fall in love with our culture and traditions. We may not have dragons, but visitors can find out how to detect Dracula in Transylvania, along with how to find the best GoT lookalike locations.
Our first stop takes us to nature’s architecture in Racos Quarry. The inactive volcano of Racoş is a strange sight among all the greenery. It looks as if a canyon and a desert had a baby. This place is perfect if you want to recreate scenes from the Dothraki Sea, which is actually a desert-like region with plains and steppes. The Dothraki Sea seems to have been of great importance in Game of Thrones since it was believed by Maester Yandel to be the land where the first villages originated. In this volcano, you can battle your opponents and feel like a true Dothraki.
If you thought that the region of Racoş could only be compared to the Dothraki Sea, then you’re in for a treat. The Basalt Columns one can find here are similar to the columns at the entrance of Dragonstone Cave, which appears in season 7 of the Game of Thrones. This fictional cave was an aid in Jon Snow’s quest. It is there that he convinced the Dragon Queen that the threat of the White Walkers would be much higher than that of her enemies. Daenerys allowed Jon and his men to extract the dragonglass, which ultimately proved to be of great value in the fight against the Night King. Even though the real cave where they filmed the scenes is located in Iceland, on the Black Sand Beach in Reynisfara, the entrance to the cave looks a lot like the Basalt Columns of Racoş. These columns stretch for 1.1 hectares and have an altitude between 12 and 15 m.
Who can’t remember the mesmerizing Dorne Palace, the residence of House Martell? The palace’s oriental decor was a definite head-turner and awakened memories of the Arabian Nights stories. The Courtyard of the Maidens Palace in Alcazar, Spain, is the construction that brought Dorne Palace to life. The palace’s interior garden is similar to the style of Stavropoleos Church and its inner courtyard. The church is one of Bucharest’s gems, and it is clear why. Its Brâncovenesc form and humongous collection of Byzantine music (the biggest in Romania) are two very attractive elements, besides its similarity to Dorne Palace. Stavropoleos Church should indeed be on your radar when you’re searching for GoT construction lookalikes.
House Tyrell played a big part in the Lannister’s lives. It was only in season seven that we discovered that lady Olenna Tyrell was the one who poisoned Joffrey at his wedding with her granddaughter, Margaery. Also in season seven, Jamie Lannister conquered Highgarden Castle to have the entire southern region of Westeros, and thus the most fertile land in the area at their disposal. The Lannisters hoped that by owning The Reach, the war against Daenerys would end in their favor, having enough provisions to last them through the coming battles. The Highgarden Castle was positioned on a high hill, much like the Rupea Citadel. In real life, Trujilo Castle in Madrid was the filming place of Highgarden, as well as for Casterly Rock. Once you spot the citadel of Rupea, you’ll see a significant resemblance to Highgarden. The ruin is noticeable from great distances, and once in its walls, you’ll see a panorama of the Rupea Region. Just like The Reach was known for its fertile soil, Rupea is famous for its arable land, old customs, and cheerful locals.
What do Riverrun Castle and the amazing Făgăraş Fortress have in common? They are both surrounded by water and impenetrable. Riverrun belonged to House Tully and is the place where Robb Stark was anointed King of the North. The fortress of Făgăraş could well enough have been the filming place for Riverrun, had it not been for the existence of Gosford Castle in Northern Ireland. Looking back at how Riverrun was portrayed in the series, Făgăraş Fortress has more in common with what was on film, than what one can see at Gosford Castle today. The Romanian fortress was built at the beginning of the 13th century as a way to ward the attacks of Tatars and Turks. The stronghold withstood sieges successfully and remains intact for us to admire, close to the baffling Şona Pyramids.
There is a trend which concerns finding dopplegӓngers, people that look like celebrities, or why not, like ourselves. This trend has gone past just searching for people. We like visiting places which have a filming history, or which resemble what we have seen in movies and series. You can’t go wrong by visiting Romania. The country offers an array of castles, mountains, and culturally-filled cities that you can experience contently. The Romanian versions of the Game of Thrones landscapes and constructions will make you want to get on a flight to Romania immediately. Be like Arya, and set out to explore beyond what you thought you knew when it comes to the perfect GoT lookalike locations.
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