Tag Archives: Diocletian’s Palace

A to Z of Windows – X is for Azure Window near Xlendi in Gozo

Our plan was to stay on board the bus and complete the route to the very far side of the island at a place called Dwejra where there is a natural rock formation called the azure window which attracts people like bees to a honey pot mostly it seems on account of the fact that it was used as a location for the TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ although I cannot confirm this because I have never watched it.

It was an interesting little stop and we clambered over the erosion scarred limestone rocks, shallow pools where nothing lived and the salt pans which was the reason why.  It was very busy so we made our way back to the shabby little ring of tourist trap shops and bars, had a beer and then on account of the number of people who might want to get on the bus made our way in good time back to the stop.

There is a rather sad postscript to this story because in a mighty storm on the morning of 7th March 2015 the stack and the arch were overcome by the wind and the surf and crashed into the sea.  Sadly the Azure Window on Gozo is no more and presumably the sightseeing bus tour will have to rearrange its itinerary.

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Travels in Croatia – Split and Diocletian’s Palace


Leaving Skradin we drove south along the delightful Dalmatian Coast and as we did so the weather started to deteriorate with huge bilious clouds building over the Mosor Mountains that rise to almost one thousand four hundred metres and were collecting the grey and preventing it moving north as they rushed in from the sea and built instead into columns of threatening anger.

To the west by contrast the sky was clear and the sun was shining but to the east and over the land it was not nearly so pleasant.  We drove past the town of Primosten and the city of Trogir, leaving these for another day, and carried on to Split, which is Croatia’s second largest city after the capital Zagreb.

Because of its strategic importance Split suffered damage during the war and probably the most tragic incident of all occurred in November 1991 when the Yugoslavian frigate named Split fired shells at the city. The damage was insignificant and there were only a few casualties but this was the only time in history that a city has been bombarded by a military vessel bearing its own name.

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Game Of Thrones – Film Locations


I have never been a fan of ‘Game Of Thrones’, I didn’t get past episode 1, series 1 but more and more I get the feeling that I know a great deal about it because there are so many places that I have been that have by coincidence been used as filming locations for the programme.

I took all of these photographs completely oblivious to this fact and without a glimmer of interest in the series.  The picture above is the Alcazar de Sevilla  which for GOT became the Water Palaces of Dorne.

There are a lot of Roman bridges in Spain, they could have used those in Merida or Salamanca but they chose this one in Córdoba in Andalusia…

Roman Bridge at Cordoba

This is Þingvellir National Park one of several locations used for filming in the photogenic country of Iceland…

Iceland Landscape

A lot of the filming for the early series was done on location on the tiny Mediterranean country of Malta, this is the Azure Window on the island of Gozo,  it also appeared in films such as Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as the television mini-series The Odyssey.

Azure Window Gozo Malta

Also on Malta they used the medieval walled city of Mdina

Mdina Malta

After exhausting the filming location opportunities on Malta the filming moved a few miles east to the Balkan country of Croatia.  This is the Krka National Park  or for GOT The Landscapes of The West

Dubrovnik featured prominently as The Red Keep and the site of the Battle of Blackwater…

And the Roman Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian was a certainty to be used…

Next time I go travelling I will pay more attention to more possible GOT film location sitings.

Has anyone else come across these or other GOT locations?  Send me your pictures and I will see if I can make a post!

The Dark Hedges Northern Ireland

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Today we were planning to visit Split but as we were preparing to catch the ten o’clock bus the clouds began their relentless march inland and the heavens opened again and we watched as first Brač and then Split itself slipped from view under a thick grey shroud.

When it had slowed from a downpour to a drizzle I was sent to the shop down the road to get supplies in case we were forced to spend the day in the room, which at that point seemed like a distinct possibility.  At the shop I couldn’t remember which beer I preferred, was it Karlovačko, Ožujsko or Laško so I bought one of each so that I could try them all just to be sure.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

In 2009 I visited the Croatian City of Split for the second time…

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A Life in Ruins – Diocletian’s Palace, Split

After we arrived we walked along the recently improved pedestrian area next to the harbour with its rows of bars and cafes and immaculate gardens and lawns and then we retraced our steps from the previous visit and went back into Diocletian’s Palace.

Diocletian became Emperor or Rome in 284AD and set out to reorganise the huge Empire that had become unwieldy difficult to control.  His solution was to split the Empire in two between east and west to make it more manageable and after governing for twenty years he became the first Emperor to resign the position and he built the massive palace for his retirement after abdicating in 305 AD.  When it was built one of its four gates led directly to a quay side but the new promenade has separated the Palace from the sea and the entrance is now through the Palace basement and past a row of market stall vendors.

The palace was built as a massive structure, much like a Roman military fortress with walls two hundred metres long and twenty metres high, enclosing an area of thirty-eight thousand Square metres and it is one of the best preserved Roman palaces in existence because after the fall of the Romans it effectively became the city of Spalatum which eventually became Split and today it continues to host the old town even though there is some very recent unfortunate and rather inappropriate construction inside.

We sat for a while in the sunshine in the People’s Square just outside the Palace gates and planned the remainder of the day.  After a final visit to the Palace for blue sky photographs we left the city and returned to the car stopping at a Konzum supermartket on the way for supplies.

We were staying at the Pink Inn again tonight and Iveska seemed pleased to see us.  Her rooms were immaculately clean and prepared with an obsessive fussiness but this was a charming place and one that I would be most happy to return to again.  All around there were big clouds but fortunately the Pink Inn was under a puddle of blue sky just perfect for sitting on the balcony and enjoying the views of the sea and the endless procession of boats and ships coming and going from the busy port of Split just a few kilometres away.

As the sun started to slide away the temperature began to drop so this was an opportunity for a final walk along the beach and the rocks and a more thorough inspection of the Hotel Meridian.  This was a seriously posh hotel and we drew a few looks of disapproval as we wandered around the lobbies and bars in our best island hopping grunge clothing.  I knew that we had gone too far when we arrived at the Casino with an entrance guarded by a doorman in an expensive suit and a glamorous hostess in a cocktail dress.  I casually enquired about opening hours and when I had got the answer we moved off quickly and returned to the beach.   I’m afraid that I’m not really all that impressed by five star hotels, they always seem so impersonal and pretentious and I was glad to get back to the charming little room at the Pink Inn.

Later we returned to the fish restaurant across the road that was busier tonight but there wasn’t a wedding in the function room to entertain us.  After another fine and inexpensive fish meal, the sixth in six nights, we returned to the balcony at the room and watched an impressive light show over the island of Brač courtesy of a massive electrical storm and we were pleased that we weren’t on the islands tonight.

Ancient Greece and Rome


Roman Amphitheatre at Pula

The Aqueduct of Segovia

Segesta, Sicily



Split peoples square




Palace of Knossos

 The Colossus of Rhodes

Croatia, Primosten

Continuing north with the Dinaric Alps soaring above us inland and catching the clouds as they rushed in from the sea we stopped again at Primošten, not because there was anything in particular to see there but just because we liked it there.

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Croatia, Split and Diocletian’s Palace

After we arrived we walked along the recently improved pedestrian area next to the harbour with its rows of bars and cafes and immaculate gardens and lawns and then we retraced our steps from the previous visit and went back into Diocletian’s Palace.

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Croatia, Hvar to Split by Ferry in a Storm

First thing the weather had been quite promising with a bit of cloud but a lot of blue so the plan was to spend the morning in Hvar and see the side of the town we had missed yesterday before getting a mid afternoon ferry back to the mainland.  We started our walk by visiting the market and then through the main square and down to the harbour, and then it started to spit with rain.

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