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A monumental fortified city on the banks of a blue sea. There’s nothing strange about why the creators of Game of Thrones chose Dubrovnik—also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”—for the King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

The popular series, based on the saga by George R. R. Martin, is renowned for showing its characters no mercy. In the universe of Game of Thrones, anyone can be beheaded, mutilated or burnt to cinders by a dragon. However, Martin reserved one of his cruellest humiliations for one of his most charismatic characters.

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), the all-powerful Queen Mother, is condemned to atone for her sins via a “walk of atonement”: she has to cross the city completely naked, facing a barrage of harassment, obscenities and laughter from her subjects.

Her torment starts at the top of the baroque staircase leading to the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in the heart of the labyrinthine historic old town, and ends at the port of Plôce, on the east side of the walls. Stretching for over two kilometres, the walls offer unbeatable views of the Adriatic and Dubrovnik’s old town, declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.