For thousands of years, its lands played host to invasions, conquests and feuds. Now the southern Spanish region of Andalusia is having a return of sorts to its history, as it prepares for the filming of next season’s Game of Thrones.

Confirming weeks of speculation, HBO said that season five of its blockbuster fantasy series would be partially shot in the province of Seville, with filming to begin later this year.

Dotted with imposing Moorish fortresses and majestic gardens, Andalusia is an obvious choice. While exact shoot locations have yet to be confirmed, Spanish media reported that the Alcázar of Seville, with its courtyard, reflecting pool and sunken gardens, would be one of several sites that would appear.

The news comes after months of behind-the-scenes work in the region, said Carlos Rosado, head of the Andalucía Film Commission. “Lots of people were very happy to hear the news.”

Andalusia is one of the regions hit hardest by Spain’s economic crisis. Rosado said it was too early for concrete predictions but previous experience suggests the shoot could be of enormous benefit to the region. He pointed to Northern Ireland, where filming of the show has generated an estimated £80m economic boost and created thousands of jobs – welcome statistics in an area where one-in-three is out of work.

Northern Ireland also reported a 32% rise in tourism, he said. “As soon as the images of Spain appear on the screen, I have no doubt that it will have the same effect as that seen in other locations.”

Other places that have served as a backdrop for Game of Thrones include Croatia, Malta, Morocco and Iceland.

The fifth season is expected to air in 2015.

Originally posted: Game of Thrones to use Andalusia’s Moorish fortresses as season five set