In the vicinity of Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, usually overloaded with eager tourists during the summer, settled the oldest Croatian monument of garden culture – Arboretum Trsteno. Recently it gained a lot more attention due to the fact that the famous HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed on this location.
This quiet botanical garden is a peaceful resting place ideal to get away from the crowds and enjoy some relaxing time surrounded with trees hundreds of years old. Arboretum treasures about 1000 different plants from which around half are domestic and the rest are cultivated exotic species brought by seaman from various parts of world.
Arboretum – the botanical paradise
The word arboretum comes from Latin word “arbor” which means the wood so the arboretum is a collective noun that means a set of trees in a particular area.
The position of all the plants in the arboretum must match the ecological and aesthetic aspects of garden art. Arboretum Trsteno covers an area of 25.5 hectares, it was established in the 15thcentury as a park and a summer residence of the patrician family Gucetic – Gozze. It includes a Gothic-Renaissance park surrounding the fifteenth-century summer residence, which is a monument of garden architecture, and the nineteenth-century neo-Romantica park at Drvarica.
Its collection of exotic and decorative trees and shrubs will leave you breathless!
Stunning 500 years old Platanus trees
Arboretum is easily reachable from Dubrovnik within 25 minutes by car. There are also frequent bus lines during the season that take you to this place of serenity.
In front of the entrance the first thing you will notice are the two magnificent Platanus trees. In the 15th century Captain Floria Jakoba Antunova, known navigator, amazed by the Platanus trees of Bosphorus, brought home 5 sprouts from which the two grew to stand strong until today.
The two magnificent Platanus trees in front of Arboretum are the oldest of its kind in the whole Europe. Impressionable 500 years old trees are 41 and 34 meters high and both of them have latitude of around 15 meters.
The fountain of Neptune
The most prominent feature of the Arboretum is a beautiful baroque Neptune fountain from 1736. Trsteno village is well known for its numerous water sources close to the sea.
In 1667 the park mansion was destroyed in the devastating earthquake so the fountain got the name after the god of the sea – Neptune. Legend says that this ruler of all the water and earthquakes was supposed to protect this unique natural area from fire and other disasters.
The fountain is adorned with two statues of the nymphs that add to the overall appeal. The water was brought to the fountain by an incredible 70 meters long park aqueduct placed on 14 arches.
The remains of the aqueduct are wonderful to explore just as the many parks terraces with numerous species of bamboo trees, laurel, camphor, palms and other exotic trees and shrubs.
This Arboretum is a characteristic type of Dubrovnik renaissance garden. It is older than many of the most famous Italian and French renaissance gardens. It has a geometric layout with orthogonal networks promenade lined with stonewalls. Main promenade has a distinct double passage carrying a pergola of vines.
Arboretum Trsteno holds a very dear place in the hearts of the nearby residents. It had its own mills with the old presses for the production of olive oil.
Perfect Game of Thrones filming location
Over the years Arboretum Trsteno has suffered sufficient damage. During the war and the earthquake it was harmed, but has been restored since and the traces of devastation are not to be found.
It is no wonder that the crew of Game of Thrones found this place to be picturesque enough for the series. Fairytale surroundings, fascinating landscapes and historical buildings contribute to the vibe that is very easy to pick up on and make Arboretum the perfect filming location.
The passages between the big old trees adorned with colorful flowers honor every visitor with the amazing fragrance. The mixture of the salty air, the old buildings and the exquisite plant life set the ideal mood perfect for reflecting or writing.
Various artist, writers and musicians loved visiting Arboretum during the course of their lives, some to find comfort some to find inspiration but all truly enjoyed the unique atmosphere of this place.
If you are a Game of Thrones fan or if you purely enjoy spending time in nature, don’t miss out on this hidden oasis full of historical sites, captivating plants and trees and a jaw-dropping view over the Elafiti Islands.
Author: Nikolina Dukic