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By multisanti (Santiago Díaz) from Santiago de Compostela, España (Gaztelugatxe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
World News

Fears Spanish church may be overrun by Game Of Thrones fans

The show features a steep and twisting stairway, identified as Dragonstone – this venue is in fact, the heritage site the Basque islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe's chapel in Bermeo, Bizkaia.

Until very recently, the chapel attracted a few religious visitors; however, after featuring in some key scenes in the TV programme, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that in July alone, there were 2,500 visitors daily.

In the show, there is a castle at the top of the 241 steps – generated by computer imagery. However, in reality, the modest church at the top is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.

The Daily Telegraph reports that there are now talks to cap the number of visitors allowed to visit and potentially charging visitors to climb the steps.

Additionally, tradition has it, that visitors that climb all the steps must ring the bell above the church three times and make a wish. However, officials are increasingly concerned that the increase in ringing may cause damage to the bell.

"The fact that they filmed Game of Thrones here has been a blessing," says the owner of the small souvenir shop inside the chapel. "The seventh season has, I believe, doubled the number of tourists."

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