Monday, May 19, 2008

WOW vs Real Life locales

One of my interests (besides WOW of course) is international travel. A long time ago when I first set foot in Allerian Stronghold, I remember thinking that the clock tower reminded me a little of the clock tower in Prague, one of my favorite cities in the world. I absolutely fell in love with Praha when I visited back in 2003. That got me thinking what other places in WOW could have a strong resemblance to a real place? I found two interesting pieces of information in my research.

First, there was a WOW insider article about this a while back where someone talked about the similarity between Northshire Abbey and this Church at Auvers, France.

Secondly, I found some actual information about some inspiration around Darnassus. The main gate of Darnassus was inspired by Namdaemun, a historic gate in Seoul.

The many buildings within Darnassus were inspired by Yakushi-ji, a famous Buddhist temple in Japan.

So that got me thinking about possible other similarities... what do you think? Can you think of any others? My original inspiration: Allerian Stronghold and Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock in Prague.

Magister's Terrace and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

Zul'Farrak and Machu Picchu.

Stormwind and Cinderella's Castle (hee hee)

Throne of the Elements and Stonehenge (duh).

Durnholde and the ruins of Chateau de Peyrepeteuse in France.

The cathedral at Scarlet Monastery and Lichfield Cathedral in England.


  1. I loved this. You didn't mention the Un'Gorocrater. It's obviously inspired by the Ngorogoro crater in Tanzania - a vulcano teaming with animal wildlife. No wandering flowers or dinosaurs, but the simularity is obvious for anyone who's been there.

  2. Thanks guys! Larisa, yeah they obviously got UnGoro crater from Ngorogoro crater... didn't even change the name much did they? I had never heard of Ngorogoro crater, but looks like an amazing place to put on my list of places to visit.

    What I would love is if someone knows of a place that looks like the entrance/outside of Ironforge. A huge castle/fort built into the face of a mountain... I could have sworn a place like this exists! Or am I confusing real life with some scene from a movie?

  3. The only things I could find which are similar to Ironforge are Helm's Deep from the Lord of the Rings, and Predjama castle in Slovenia

    I seem to remember a shot of the entrance to Lovely Mountain in the Hobbit that was very similar to IF as well, except it had a stream running through the gate.

  4. When visiting Disneyland I was struck by how the scale-exaggerated and cartoonish quality of the buildings in Mickey's Toontown reminded me of much of WoW architecture.

    You could also do a similar analysis of zones. Darkshore has always reminded me of the Pacific Northwest in North America (i.e., British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, and Northern California). That zone makes me want to have a microbrew or double-tall latte and listen to some Screaming Trees.

    /emote is still in denial that grunge is dead.

  5. @Donovan - that castle in Slovenia is just absolutely amazing!!!

    @Jess - Darkshore was always a bit too gloomy and foggy for me.

  6. Fun post! The only city/entrance built into rock that I can think of is Petra, in Jordan:
    But it has a Roman design.

  7. I live in Lichfield, and I have never noticed the similarities between the cathedral and the Scarlet Monastery. Nice find!

  8. Scarlet Monastery could also have been from La Plata Cathedral.

  9. Apparently, the basic circular tower design (such as the guard towers dotting the road as you leave Theramore) is based on an old castle in Germany. I couldn't find a photograph to post, but I was showing some screenshots of a project I'm working on in WoW, and one of the people who were looking at them swore she had visited *that* castle on a tour of Germany... except in the shot it was Elwynn forest.

  10. Could Duskwood be inspired by the Black Forest in Germany?

  11. The Stormwind Cathedral looks like it could have been based of The LDS San Diego Temple. Would make sense also since blizzard is located in southern cali also

  12. I might be mistaken, but isn't the Cinderella castle based on Schloss Neuschwanstein also?

  13. Have never had the pleasure of visiting Ngorogoro, but the general look of Un'goro's geography, with all the primeval rainforest and ferns and hot springs, is also very like parts of New Zealand.

  14. wow nice ^_- they do look alike :p i might try to find some too

  15. Where do you guys think Ashenvale could look most similar to? I want to live where ever that is lol.