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Great Sept of Baelor

TV show Game of Thrones (2011)
In episode 6 of season 6, the Cathedral of St. Mary of Girona becomes the Great Sept of Baelor. It is at the top of the stairs that the High Sparrow announces the union of King Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), behind Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg).
Girona Cathedral
Girona Cathedral by Gilles Rolland.

“A lifetime of wealth and power has left you blind in one eye. You are the few, we are the many. And when the many stop fearing the few…”

High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce)

Season 6 allows the producers of Game of Thrones to show for the first time on the forecourt of the Great Sept of Baelor, after partially revealing the building in previous seasons. The teams in charge of scouting selected the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Girona. A city where several scenes involving Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in Braavos have already been filmed.

King’s Landing, a subtle blend of the cities of Girona and Dubrovnik

In fact, the imposing steps of the cathedral overlook a small square. In the series, the monument allows to admire a spectacular view of the sea. Indeed, the Great Sept of Baelor is located in the center of the capital of Westeros, King’s Landing. A city that the series has located in Dubrovnik. Shooting on the square of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Girona therefore involved the use of CGI to “assemble” shots of Dubrovnik and shots of the cathedral.

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Vertiginous stairs

The monument itself did not have to undergo too many changes, just like the buildings around it. With its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, the cathedral was meant to be a perfect match for King’s Landing. The shots taken from the foot of the steps were also taken with a lens that gave a spectacular impression of height. A site that has since regained its tranquility, even if many fans go there today to relive one of the darkest chapters in the history of the War of the Thrones in the Seven Kingdoms.

A perfect replica of the Iron Throne was also displayed in a small room in the cathedral square after the shooting. A way to forever associate Girona with the cult HBO series. Note that the streets of Ferran el Catolic and Pujada del Rei Marti were also used in the wake of this episode but also at the time when the Great Sept of Baelor explodes, when Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) pursues one of the small spies of Qyburn.

12

Jonathan Pryce plays in 12 episodes of Game of Thrones.

Great Sept of Baelor
Great Sept of Baelor. All rights reserved: HBO.
Steps of the Great Sept of Baelor
Steps of the Great Sept of Baelor. All rights reserved: HBO.

Cathedral of Girona

Begun in the 11th century and completed in the course of the 18th century, Saint Mary’s Cathedral is the main monument of Girona in Spain.

The fact that construction of Girona Cathedral spanned several centuries explains its daring blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Built on the site of an old religious building dating from before the Islamic conquest of Iberia, it mobilized several architects including Pere Sacoma. Its 22.98 meter wide nave is the second largest in the world after that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Its tower reaches 70 meters. The building also houses several works of art including several sculptures.

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By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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