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‘Game of Thrones’: More Spanish Locations for Season 6

Bardenas badlands, Santa Florentina and Zafra castles, Almeria’s Alcazaba among new locations

MADRID — HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has selected further spectacular locations in Spain for Season 6: the Bardenas badlands in Navarre, the castles of Santa Florentina and Zafra and Almeria’s Alcazaba.

These sites join the previously announced locations in Girona and Peñiscola.

A semi-desert expanse in south-east Navarre, the Bardenas boast spectacular, near-surreal, rock formations. The Castillo Santa Florentina is a homely and habitable castle, fitst built in the 11th century, just down the Mediterranean coast from Girona in Canet del Mar.

In contrast, the Castillo de Zafra in Guadalajara province, central Spain, looks from many angles like a seemingly impregnable fortress rearing up from a natural rock plinth. Almeria’s Alcazaba is by far the biggest of the castles, a massive fortified city-wall complex built in Moorish times.

Filming is set to take place later this year. Girona, in northern Catalonia near the French border, has imposing medieval city walls, towers and churches and a network of canals, Peñiscola a fortified castle built by the Knights Templar on a headland which dominates a seaside resort, stood in for Valencia in Anthony Mann’s 1960 Charlton Heston starrer “El Cid.”

Specifics on exactly what locations will be used will unveiled closer to the time of production. The multiplicity of castles and fortified walls now on “Game of Thrones’” Season 6 agenda obviously suggests new locations for the saga, maybe more face-offs between the different armies still in play.

Navarre has added a new 35% credit on regional spend for Spanish and international shoots, with the only requirement of filming at least one week there. The new tax rebate has no specific Euro cap, which makes it attractive to high budget shoots. The Navarra Film Commission is collaborating in Bardenas shoot, as Filming Almeria for the Alcazaba.

It is locations, however, which as ever are the determinant factor in HBO’s choice of locale.

As already announced, Peter Welter Soler at Fresco Film Services will again provide production services in Spain, as it did on Season 5’s shoot in Andalusia with Seville’s Alcazar Palace doubling on a 12-day shoot for the sunlit Water Gardens of Dorne. At the bullring of the nearby town of Osuna, Season 5 production spent 13 days filming an about four-minute scene with 500 extras.

“Game of Thrones” will begin filming its sixth season in Belfast in late July.

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