For thousands of years, its lands played host to invasions, conquests and feuds. Now the southern Spanish region of Andalusia is having a return of sorts to its history, as it prepares for the filming of next season’s Game of Thrones.
Confirming weeks of speculation, HBO said that season five of its blockbuster fantasy series would be partially shot in the province of Seville, with filming to begin later this year.
Dotted with imposing Moorish fortresses and majestic gardens, Andalusia is an obvious choice. While exact shoot locations have yet to be confirmed, Spanish media reported that the Alcázar of Seville, with its courtyard, reflecting pool and sunken gardens, would be one of several sites that would appear in the show.
The announcement comes after months of behind-the-scenes work in the region, said Carlos Rosado, head of the Andalucía Film Commission. “Lots of people were very happy to hear the news.”
Andalusia is one of the regions hit hardest by Spain’s economic crisis. Rosado said it was too early to make any concrete predictions but previous experience suggests that the shoot could be of enormous benefit to the region. He pointed to Northern Ireland, where the filming of the third season generated an estimated £80m boost to the economy and created thousands of jobs – welcome statistics in an area where one-in-three is out of work.
Northern Ireland also reported a 32% increase in tourism, said Rosado. “As soon as the images of Spain appear on the screen, I have no doubt that it will have the same effect as that seen in other locations.”
Spain will join a long list of locations that have already served as a backdrop for the Game of Thrones, including Croatia, Malta, Morocco and Iceland.
The fifth season is expected to air in 2015.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014