Are the Castles in Game of Thrones Real?

Game of Thrones has taken over the world in many languages and countries. But, are the castles in Game of Thrones real?

Yes, most of the castles in Game of Thrones are real. Some of them were partially completed or added with CGI graphics for a more dramatic impact. There are 13 real castles around the world used in the series, where you can recreate the famous Game of Thrones scenes. 

Picture by Alberto Ortiz de Zarate on flickr.com

For more information about the GOT( Game of Thrones) castles keep reading on;

Where are the castles in Games of Thrones located?

Here are the list and location of 13 castles from GOT you can visit and recreate scenes:

  1. Castle of Zafra. Guadalajara in Spain
  2. Doune Castle. Scotland
  3. Castle Ward. Strangford, Northern Ireland
  4. Castillo de Trujillo. Trujillo, Spain
  5. Lovrijenac Fortress. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  6.  Castell de Santa Florentina. Canet de Mar, Catalonia.
  7.  Castillo Almodóvar. Corboda, Spain
  8.  Alcázar of Seville. Seville, Spain
  9. Peñíscola Castle. Valencia in Spain
  10. Shane’s Castle. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  11. Ait Benhaddou. Ksar, Morocco
  12. Gosford Castle.Armagh, Northern Ireland
  13.  Dunluce Castle. Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland

Check out the video below, a gallery of the castles how they look in the Game of Throne Series.

About Castle of Zafra

The castle of Zafra’s location is in Guadalajara in Spain. This castle represents the Tower of Joy in Game of Thrones. 

Castle Zafra, Spain, Used  in GOT
Picture by Alberto Ortiz de Zarate on flickr.com

The famous scene involved Ned Stark when he was young, and his king’s guard uses their swords to fight with Ser Arthur Dayne and some Targaryen.

The castle stands on a large rock, with a height of 1,400 meters. You can also quickly identify Zafra, as it’s the only building in the middle of the Calderon mountain range.

While this castle is small, it was initially people built to serve as a defensive structure.

During its history, many armies have tried to conquer the castle but failed.

Since 1970 the castle is private property, the owner has spent many years restoring the castle.

About Doune Castle

If you’re a fan of Winterfell, then you will HAVE to visit Doune Castle. This majestic castle is in the Stirling district of Scotland.

Doune Castle was used in filming the Game of Thrones

Picture by Dennis Wilkinson in Flickr.com

Built in the 14th century by the Duke of Albany and then the King of Scotland in the 16th century took it over.  

Throughout the years from the 16th-18th century, many royals and members of the military have occupied it. 

Then during the 19th century, ownership got transferred back to the state for restoration, and Historic Environment Scotland now owns Doune Castle. 

The castle kitchen is one of the best types of castle kitchens in Scotland at its time. You can also visit its courtyard and curtain wall where there are roofs and steep steps. 

You can also visit this castle during different periods of the year.

Prices vary depending on age; however, they usually range from £5.40- £9.00. You can check here for more information about visiting. 

About Castle Ward 

Stark fans, Castle Ward Winterfell’s farmland is another place for you! This castle is owned by the National Trust and is in Strangford, Northern Ireland.

Castle Ward
Picture by Amanda Slater on Flickr.com

 Unlike other castles, Castle Ward could be a new castle as construction work started in the late 17th century. 

Today, this castle is available to all members of the public; but owned by the Ward family.

The reason you’ll recognise this castle if you’re a Game of Thrones fan is due to its 820 acres of landscaped gardens, which is Winterfell’s backdrop. 

When you reach Castle Ward, you can go on a self-led tour of the castle. 

Typically when visiting, you will see its dining room, boudoir, mansion house, tea room and a book shop. For more about visiting Castle Ward, you can check here.  

About Castillo de Trujilo

If you like the House of Lannister, then you may want to visit Castillo de Trujillo, which is in Spain’s town of Trujillo.

Castillo de Trujilo , a castle from Spain used in the Game of Thrones
Picture by Giborn_134 on flickr.com

Trujillo became known as Casterly Rock, where the Lannisters were taken by the unsullied. 

This fortress was built in the 9th century in an Islamic style and overlooks the town.

Castillo de Trujillo is built from granite ashlar and has expanded over the centuries.

It also has 17 rectangular defence towers and an enclosure. You can visit today; however, there’s not much to see other than its structure.

About Lovrijenac Fortress

The capital of the Seven Kingdoms and Kings Landing in real life is known as the Lovrijenac Fortress.

Lovrijenac Fortress, a castles used in Game of Thrones
Picture by aiva on flickr.com

Based in Dubrovnik, this fortress is believed to date back to the 10th century however records showed the first sign of its existence in the 13th century.

This stunning fortress is made out of limestone and is located 121 feet on rocks above sea level.

Its purpose was to defend against Venetian attacks from the sea and the land. Sometimes, Lovrijenac would have 25 people operating it at a time. 

On the inside, the walls are 24 inches thick. Leading to Lovrijenac are two drawbridges and a gate.

 To reach the fort, you have to walk around 200 or so steps, and it can get popular in the summer months.

About Castell de Santa Florentina

During season 6 of Game of Thrones, Samwell Tarly moved back to his ancestral home known on our screens as Horn Hill.

Castell de Santa Florentina used in the GOT series.
Picture by jordi domènech on wikipedia.com

In real life, this stunning structure castle lovers know as the Castell de Santa Florentina in Spain. This castle is on the outskirts of Barcelona in the quaint town of Canet de Mar, Catalonia.

This castle dates back to the 11th century, and it has a medieval structure.

 Initially, the castle was built by Guadimir de Canet and then expanded during the 14th century by a noble knight known as Ferrer de Canet.

Ferrer was also an advisor to the kings of Aragon. 

 Similarly, passed to his ancestors, who own this castle today. Even though it’s a private castle, you can still visit it, if you book an appointment in advance by emailing the management at info@castelldesantaflorentina.com

About Castillo Almodóvar

If you’ve seen House Tyrell’s high garden, then you will surely recognise Castillo Almodóvar. This castle is in the province of Corboda, Spain.

Almodóvar del Río Castle

This castle was built in the 8th century and came of a Muslim origin. 

Previously it was a Roman fort, has Arab renovation and underwent many reconstructions.

However today, the castle remains privately owned.

When visiting you can see breathtaking panoramic views of the local countryside and nearby town.

If you plan to visit, the castle is open seven days a week and prices for admission range from 4-7 euros, children under four can enter for free. Plus, if you’re a foodie, you can eat inside too.

About Alcázar of Seville

In season 5 you see gorgeous gardens of the House of Martell in the city of Sunspear, in Game of Thrones.

Alcázar of Seville , a castle used in Game of Thrones
Image by USA-Reiseblogger from Pixabay

What’s more remarkable about these gardens is that they belong to a magnificent palace known as the Royal Alcázar of Seville in Seville, Spain.

After 913, it went under further construction in the 11th century by a king at the time.

Over time this palace witnessed many births of royalty one, in particular, was the Infanta Maria of Antonietta of Spain in 1729. 

The architecture of this place is remarkable, with many stunning architectural styles.

However, none of the architecture is what remains of its initial design. Today, the Alcázar has a range of designs from Islamic, to the renaissance, to gothic and Christian architecture. 

One of the most noticeable things about its design is its tiles. The Alcázar has two types of tiles, which are majolica and arista. 

If you want to visit, this is a popular attraction and can become busy on the weekends. 

About Peñíscola Castle

This castle is one of the famous places in Game of Thrones, where Daenerys Targaryen (Mother of Dragons aka Khaleesi) takes over the city and frees the sullied slaves from the army.

Peñíscola Castle, a castle used  in the Game of Thrones
Image by EstudioWebDoce from Pixabay

Plus it has the artillery park which appears in episode 4 of season 6. 

Peñíscola Castle is located just to the north of Valencia in Spain. The castle itself is in the Peñíscola municipality in the Castellón province of Valencia.

When you arrive there, it’s easy to spot as the castle is in the highest location, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. We say high as it has an altitude of 64 meters above sea level.

It’s believed templar knights constructed it in XIII in an old Arab settlement.

However, the descriptions of the castle become more detailed in the 13th century by James of Aragon. 

Peñíscola Castle has stunning authentic gothic romantic type architecture. When visiting the fortification, you can see the entrance hall, stables, guardhouse, gothic room, water house, great kitchen, Papa Luna tower, a church and a chapel. 

About Shane’s Castle

Shane’s Castle in Northern Ireland, you’ll recognise from Game of Thrones season 6! It’s also shown in season 1 and season 2, a fight between Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. 

About Shane's Castle, a castles used in Game of Thrones

Picture by Kenneth Allen on wikipedia.com

If you’re travelling to see this castle, it’s situated next to Randal’s town in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Around the castle, there are about 800 acres of farmland and 1000 acres of woodland. However, there’s not much to the castle itself as there are a lot of ruins to explore.

About Ait Benhaddou

In the tenth and final episode of Game of Thrones third season, you’ll see Ait Benhaddou. In particular, you will see Daenerys Targaryan chanting the Mhysa. 

Ait Benhaddou, a castle used in GOT

Picture by Pnp! On flickr.com

It is also in The Mummy, Son of God, Gladiator, Prince of Persia, Babel, The Jewel of the Nile and many more.

Apart from films, this remarkable castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been since 1987. In

The Ait Benhaddou is in Morocco in the historical region of Ksar.

People often visit the Ait Benhaddou, for its breathtaking surrounding landscape.

About Gosford Castle

Riverrun in Game of Thrones in real life is Gosford Castle. You can find Gosford Castle in Gosford, Marketland in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The castle was built in the 1800s by the Earl of Gosford.

Picture by Robert Ashby on geography.ie

Who had the castle built in a Norman revival style by a British architect known as Thomas Hopper.

Until 1921, the Earl’s of Gosford occupied this castle and was taken over by Northern Ireland’s ministry of agriculture.

Not only is this castle grade A listed, however, it is also in the middle of a gorgeous park. Also, there are beautiful woodlands and gardens, full of red deer.

Dunluce Castle

If you like the House of Greyjoy, you’ll be able to visit it in person at Dunluce Castle. This castle is located in Bushmills in Northern Ireland on the County Antrim coast.

Dunluce Castle, a castles used in GOT
Image by Peter Holmes from Pixabay

Historians are not sure exactly when built; however, its existence was first documented in 1513 by the owner of the McWilliam family. 

Today the medieval castle is not that well kept and subject to many ruins. The only way of accessing this castle is via a bridge.

This restriction does not limit the number of people who come to visit Dunluce—estimated that over 80,000 visitors a year come to visit Dunluce Castle.

Well, there you have the 13 real-life Game of Thrones castles to visit in Europe and Spain.

Game of Thrones is a brilliant tv series to watch; however, we feel the castles are worthy of visiting in themselves, even if you haven’t watched the series!

Check out our castles from movies section on our blog to find out the most used castles in films.

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Mihail Ghelbur

I have been a castle lover since I remember myself, couldn't go past a castle without finding all I could about it. Now my goal is to visit every single one of them and share it with you! https://castletourist.com/about-mihail-ghelbur/

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