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Unbelievable Castles From Game of Thrones You Can Visit in Real Life

April 14, 2019
5 min read
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The Lannisters, Starks and Tyrells live in remarkable castles that only seem possible in the magical, medieval realm of the Seven Kingdoms. But to bring these ancestral seats of the great Houses Westeros to life, the production crew of "Game of Thrones" located spectacular palaces and fortresses around the real world for the show.

Though the show filmed all over Europe, including Northern Ireland, Iceland and Croatia, many of the most striking castles featured in the hit HBO series can be found in Spain.

Here are five castles from the hit HBO series you can visit to live out your "Game of Thrones" fantasies.

1. Castle Ward in Northern Ireland

Castle Ward, better known as Winterfell, is located near the village of Strangford in County Down in Northern Ireland. This 1,000-acre estate that doubles as the House Stark’s ancestral home is a National Trust property and has been in the Ward family since 1570. There’s even a tour you can sign up for so you can get more insight about what scenes for the show were filmed here.

The tower house and courtyard at Castle Ward in Strangford, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Joaquin Ossorio Castillo / Getty Images)
The tower house and courtyard at Castle Ward in Strangford, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Joaquin Ossorio Castillo / Getty Images)

2. The Castle of Zafra in Spain

Known as the Tower of Joy in "Game of Thrones," this castle is featured in a crucial scene about the parentage of Jon Snow. Bran Stark sees his father, Ned Stark, as he fights his way into the tower to rescue his sister, Lyanna Stark, and makes a promise to her. Later in Season Six, we find out he promises to protect the identity of her son, Jon Snow, heir to the Iron Throne. In real life, this location is a 12th-century castle in Guadalajara near the little village of Campillo de Dueñas. It’s also an excavation site where remains from the Celtiberians, Romans and the Visigoths have been uncovered.

(Photo by mtrommer / Getty Images)
(Photo by mtrommer / Getty Images)

3. Castell de Santa Florentina in Spain

Better known as Horn Hill, the ancestral home of The House Tarly, Castell de Santa Florentina is located right outside Barcelona, Spain. It’s where Sam brings Gilly home to meet his family and later flees with Oathkeeper (a Valyrian steel sword) on his way to Citadel. Dating from the 11th-century, this impressive castle was built on the foundations of an ancient Roman Domus.

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(Photo courtesy of Castell de Santa Florentina)
(Photo courtesy of Castell de Santa Florentina)

4. Castillo de Trujillo in Spain

The often talked about — but never seen — Casterly Rock didn’t really show up in the show until Season Seven. But it did play in a prominent scene in the show when the Unsullied army invaded the Lannister home. In real life, it’s known as Trujillo Castle, and it's located at the highest point in the town of Cáreres, Spain. The Moorish fortress was built over the old remains of an old Muslim citadel between the 9th and 12th centuries.

El Castillo de Trujillo. (Photo by C. Aranega / Getty Images)
El Castillo de Trujillo. (Photo by C. Aranega / Getty Images)

5. Castillo Almodóvar in Spain

The home of House Tyrell, Highgarden, is really Castillo Almodóvar in the province of Córdoba. Although it's mentioned many times throughout the series, Highgarden didn’t appear until Season Seven when Jaime Lannister invaded the Tyrells' home. Matriarch Olenna Tyrell confesses her role in the Purple Wedding right before her death in this castle as well. Before it starred in "Game of Thrones," this beautiful castle was a Roman fortress dating back to the 8th century. It's now a prime tourist spot for fans who might want to play out their ”Queen of Thrones” fantasy.

(Photo by Lars Stuifbergen / Unsplash)
(Photo by Lars Stuifbergen / Unsplash)
Featured image by Getty Images

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