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GOT’s HIGHGARDEN FILMED AT CASTILLO DE ALMODOVAR DEL RIO

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As we all wait in anticipation of the final delivery of next years Game of Thrones – Season 7, I thought it well to revisit some of my favorite episodes. As such, I came across one of the most beautiful filming locations known in the series as Highgarden, but in the ‘real world’ filmed at the Castillo de Almodovar Del Rio in Spain.
Yet, before we get to explore Castillo de Almodovar, let’s have a look at some more fun & interesting facts about Game of Thrones:
  • It is said actress Lena Headey made the character of Cercei Lanister her own, which imporessed audiences around the world, as the character in the books isn’t as dynamic is Queen Cercei.
  • You might also recognize Lena Headey from the famed 300 movies.
  • Arya Stark is left-handed, yet, Maisie Williams is right-handed, therefore, she committed to learning how to sword fight with her left-hand.
  • The dire wolves used in the series are actually a breed of northern Inuit dogs.

Let’s have a look at this week’s featured GOT Filming Location:

Castillo de Almodovar Del Rio (Spain)

Known in Game of Thrones as:  Highgarden
The Castillo de Almodovar del Rio stands in for Highgarden in the series, and is best known as the seat House Tyrell, and the regional capital of the Reach. (Which is one of the constituents of the Seven Kingdoms.)
Location: Castillo de Almodovar del Rio lies in Spain’s southern Andalusian region, about 24 kilometers from the capital, Córdoba, rising high above the Guadalquivir river, Spain’s second longest.
It finds its origins in the Moorish times, when Muslim invaders captured Spain in the Middle Ages, around the 8th century A.D. Like many of its kind, the castle’s high walls are flanked by square towers, except on one side. The main tower is taller than the rest and the whole structure is surrounded by a moat.
But the origin of the Castillo goes even further back than that.  Let’s have a quick look at the timeline of events that took place:
  • Around 740 A.D or 760 A.D.: The current structure is said to have been built during Moorish times, yet it stands on the foundation of an old Roman fort that dates back even further. The castle in its present form has Berber origins, after the African ethnic groups that resided in the region. (It was furthermore part of the Muslim kingdom, or taifa, of Cormona.)
  • Middle Ages: The current structure crumbled after the Muslims were thrown out and the Spanish did not try and restore it till the Middle Ages. In 1240 the town, Almodovar del Rio, along with its castle, was finally incorporated into Spanish dominion (https://castillodealmodovar.com/historia) by Ferdinand III.
  • 1360: King Pedro began to live in the castle.
  • 15th century:  The Baena and Cabra family take possession of the castle.
  • After 1513: The town and caste were handed back to the crown.
  • 1629: Almodovar del Rio and the castle are sold again by Philip IV to the nobility. A Knight, Francisco del Corral y Guzmán, bought it and made the town a noble dominion.
  • 1901-1936: It was restored by its owner, the 12th Count of Torravala, Raphael Desmaissiers, under the architect, Adolfo Fernández Casanova.
Interesting Facts about Castillo de Almodovar Del Rio
  • When the castle was built by the Arabs they called it, Al-Mudawvar, meaning ‘round’ or  ‘safe,’ which is the origin of the name of the town, Almodovar.
  • In the 14th century, Peter the Cruel of Castile, (Pedro I de Castile), used the castle as a prison for his sister-in-law, Juana de Lara, before executing her.
  • King Peter the Cruel, also used it to store his treasure since it was impregnable and had not been taken by force at that time.
  • Like the town, Castillo de Almodovar del Rio has witnessed the Peninsular Wars, a peasant movement during the Second Republic, as well as the bloody Spanish Civil War.
  • When the Count of Torralba renovated the castillo in the 20th century, he restored the original Arab fortification so that the castle would look different from other Spanish castles.
  • It is one of the very few castles in Spain that can still be inhabited.
Top Attractions at Castillo de Almodovar Del Rio
  • Climb up the nine towers of which the biggest is the Tower of Homage.  Take in breathtaking views of the valley and the Guadalquivir River.
  • Watch audiovisual presentations on this castle’s history through the ages. There is also a holographic mockup of the Count of Torralva, that explains the history of the castle.
  • Visits to the castle are many fold. You can explore the castle unguided in which case a map will be provided right at the entrance. The Butler of the King also takes guided tours throughout the castle.
  • Inhabitants of the castle may take you by surprise. Don’t worry, they are just performers dressed in medieval clothes and not ghosts.
  • Don’t miss the ‘themed rooms,’ especially the armor room and the dungeon, which has recreations of prisoners hanging from the walls.
  • Witness medieval combat as trained sportsmen duel each other in a tournament that is 700 years old in a historical castle.
  • Feast like a king at a medieval lunch at the castle on certain days.
Entry Fees
Adults: 6,50 €
Children (between 4-12 years): 4 €
Babies (between 0-3 years): free
Timetable & Schedule
Closed:
  • 1 January
  • 25 December
Rest of the year:
Monday to Friday:  11.00h. to 14.30h /16.00h. to 19.00h. (Winter)
Monday to Friday: 11.00h. to 14:30h/16.00h. to 20.00h. (Summer)
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 11.00h. to 19.00h. (Winter)
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 11.00h. to 20.00h. (Summer)

Why visit the Castillo de Almodovar Del Rio in Spain?

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, what better reason to visit this castle than the fact that the show is being shot there?
Moreover the Castillo is like a hidden treasure for tourists; guidebooks give it a miss, yet, it is truly unique with its Islamic architecture and unusual inhabitants.
Only 24 kilometers from Córdoba by road, it is a great place to explore and experience old traditions in the 21
st
century.

Other Noteworthy Attractions close to the Castillo

  • Go around the town of Almodovar del Rio and sit in quaint cafés while relaxing.
  • Head on to see the Town Hall, the Ayuntamiento de Almodovar del Rio, or even the Visitor’s Center, where you can learn more about the history of the town.
  • Visit the reservoir, Embalse de La Brena II, where you can indulge in a day of water activities like sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, waterskiing and also hiking and mountain climbing.
Video’s – GOT Behind the Scenes:
Video – GOT Locations from around the World
Enjoyed this Article?
Let us know in the comments below, and share your own experience while visiting this magnificent palace with us.  We would love to hear from you.
Till next week.

Happy travels!
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