‘Game of Thrones’ tourism takes off in Spanish village

Chicago Tribune

“Game of Thrones” returns for its sixth season April 24, but in this hillside village outside Seville, it’s as if the HBO blockbuster never left.

The Museum of Osuna recently rolled out a permanent exhibit devoted to the series, which shot some of last season’s most memorable scenes here. With the help of CGI magic and hundreds of residents happy to serve as extras, the town’s century-old bullring was transformed into the main fighting pit of Meereen.

Filming only lasted 17 days, but Osuna has been feeling the impact ever since.

“As soon as people saw the show, tourists started to come,” local television producer Jesus Cansino said through a translator.


You don’t need a translator to understand how much Cansino loves “Game of Thrones.” His face lit up like a Dorne sunrise as he showed me around the exhibit that debuted late last year.

Jesus Cansino looks at photos of "Game of Thrones" scenes filmed in the Osuna bullring that doubled as Daznak's Pit in Season 5.
(Lori Rackl / Chicago Tribune)

Cansino’s private collection of cast photos, autographs and memorabilia make up many of the displays spread across two rooms in the modest museum, at 37 Calle Sevilla in an 18th century building — downright modern by “Game of Thrones” standards. (Closed Mondays; admission 2 euros.)

The concise, well-curated exhibit — with information placards in Spanish and English — includes everything from tiny Tyrion Lannister dolls to a life-size White Walker. Fan art of Daenerys Targaryen and sword replicas hang on the stone-covered walls. Visitors can watch a video of behind-the-scenes footage of Season 5 filming. Photos show cast members out and about in Osuna, posing for pictures with fans and celebrating star Emilia Clarke’s birthday at Casa Curro, a restaurant with menu items inspired by “Game of Thrones” characters.


Also on display in the museum: one of the 600 T-shirts director David Nutter gave to the extras who braved unseasonably warm temperatures during long days of filming in Osuna’s bullring, open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is 2 euros.

Osuna is an easy day trip by car or train from Seville, which is no stranger to “Game of Thrones” camera crews, either. The Andalusian capital in southern Spain is home to the stunning Alcazar Palace that doubled as the Water Gardens of Dorne.

Twitter @lorirackl



‘Game of Thrones’ cast and creators tease Jon Snow’s fate and potential return

5 new getaways for fans of active, exotic travel

Beyond the falls, history awaits along the Niagara River