Fort Lovrijenac: The actual ‘Red Keep’ of Game of Thrones
Maybe you never heard about Fort Lovrijenac, but Game of Thrones fans will be familiar with this imposing castle because it appears on screen as the Red Keep in this popular fantasy series. If you are curious about where Red Keep was filmed and want to know more about the history of this mighty monument, keep reading.
Fort Lovrijenac: Game of Thrones meets real life
If you have watched Game of Thrones, you will recognise Fort Lovrijenac as the Red Keep in the Seven Kingdoms’ capital, King’s Landing. Numerous scenes were shot there, including one in the first episode of season 3, when Lord Tyrion, Ser Podrick and Ser Bronn were on the walls following the battle of Blackwater. Fort Lovrijenac is also the setting of the tournament held in King Joffrey’s name in the second season.
So what is Fort Lovrijenac in real life, and where is it? Known in English as the Fort of St. Lawrence, it is a historic fort and theatre just outside the western city wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is sometimes named the Gibraltar of Dubrovnik because it is perched on a 37m high rock. People of Ragusa Republic built on the spot where, in the 11th century, the Venetians wanted to construct a fort, but locals got there first, crucially securing a commanding location that dominates both land and sea entrances to the city.
It took only three months to build Fort Lovrijenac. It has a triangular shape and ten huge cannons defended its wall. The inscription above the door “Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro” (“Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world”) is a reminder of the fort’s role in repelling the Venetians. To reach the Lovrijenac Fort you need to climb 200 steps but it’s worth it for the stunning view from the three terraces and the small chapel.
These days, it plays host to theatrical performances, in particular Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a key venue for the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Red Keep location is also the Croatian leg of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
How to visit Fort Lovrijenac
As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll find Fort Lovrijenac in the city of Dubrovnik, precisely in the south of Croatia. Of course, you can visit Fort Lovrijenac and the entire city on your own but if you wish for a more fulfilling experience we recommend booking a guided tour, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan.
But the good news is that the ticket for the city walls includes the visit to Fort Lovrijenac! The walls of the suggestive location are accessible from Monday to Sunday, however, the opening hours may vary depending on the time of year you’re visiting, so always be careful and check beforehand.
How to reach Fort Lovrijenac
There are two ways to arrive at Fort Lovrijenac: from the centre of Dubrovnik, walk along the Stradun to the staircase leading to the walls. An alternative route branches off from the seaside “u Pilama” going up a path in the woods.
If you’re visiting from Venice, why not take the ferry from Venice to Pula and see many other historical sites during your journey? The Roman amphitheatre is just one of the impressive things to see in Pula, and from the Lovrijenac fortress, you can head south to explore more of Croatia’s rich cultural heritage.