I was curious about this, because some of the cities are very clearly based on real places, and some aren't, so I had to go into the inspirations and influences behind Wow race and cities. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
Suramar – This city is basically
Venice with a different colour scheme and some magical stuff thrown in.
Lordaeron – Lordaeron is similar to Stormwind, but the architectural style is a lot more flowing, with more domes and spires. It also has a large underground system of tunnels and sewers with lots of imagery of death.
Paris has similar architecture (in its older buildings) and its
catacombs are probably the closest real world equivalent to the Undercity. And
Lordaeron's central dome closely resembles
Bilgewater Harbour – Goblins are based very closely on the stereotype of the American Italian mafia La Cosa Nostra, which was based in
New York. The mannerisms and accents of Goblins resembles New York, and so does their ultra-capitalist ideology. Bilgewater Harbour is a newly built city, composed mostly of metal where older cities are mainly stone. It was built on the eastern coast of a western continent because the Goblins left their original island home for a new life. In this way, it has a lot of parallels with New York. Also Bilgewater Harbour has a huge intercontinental missile launcher in its centre, which may be a nod to the Manhattan Project.
Boralus – Based on England, the society of Kul Tiras revolves around its navy, and Boralus is dominated by its port. The buildings are made from grey stone with copper roves. The closest equivalent I can find is
Plymouth in the UK. Plymouth is a port city which acted as the historic heart of the Royal Navy. Some of its historic buildings also follow the same colour scheme, with grey stone and copper.
Gilneas City – Very clearly based on Victorian England, specifically
London, complete with a northern wall to hold out northern aggressors (Hadrian's Wall). Gilneans speak in (very bad) cockney accents and wear top hats and stuff. I assume the central tower in Gilneas City is a reference to Big Ben.
Ironforge – You might immediately jump to
Edinburgh, since Dwarves = Scottish. But Ironforge was based on the Dwarven city of Erebor in Lord of the Rings, and the whole Scottish connection didn't exist back when those books were written. This is where things get messy, because there's a lot more lore to wade through with LoTR than WoW. Dwarves are originally Germanic in origin, with German sounding names, and a language which appears to be based on Norse runes. But Tolkien admits that his Dwarves had a lot of similarities with the stereotypes about Jews at the time. And it may be a coincidence that the place which most closely resembles Erebor is
Petra in Jordan, just across the border from Israel. So I'm not really sure where to go with this one.
Stormwind is vaguely Germanic in its style, especially in concept art for the Warcraft Movie. The best equivalent I can find is Hamburg. It's coastal (like Stormwind), has a canal system (like Stormwind), is a major port (like Stormwind), and is the historic seat of a kingdom (like Stormwind), and has a major central religious spire (like Stormwind).Загрузка...
Thunder Bluff – While it's clear that everything about Tauren and Mulgore is based on the Americas, it's hard to pin down any specifics. Mulgore seems to be based on
the great plains combined with
Monument Valley, but ends up very closely resembling the
Tepuis Mountains in Venezuela. Tauren themselves are based on Native Americans, but the problem is that Native Americans didn't really have cities. The largest Native American city is believed to have been
Cahokia, which was also in the general area of the great plains. Cahokia is just on the outskirts of what is today…
Saint Louis. I know. I'm underwhelmed too.
Dalar Azor – This city is based on a combination of influences from Latin America, including Macchu Picchu, the Mayans and the Azteks. The strongest influence would be
Tenochtitlan, which is now
Silvermoon – The architecture uses a lot of white stone and red tiled roves. The environment is green, hilly, and verdant. Blood Elf society is cultured and artistic, but also a bit self obsessed and hedonistic. Therefore Silvermoon is
Florence. This also works well because the parallels between Florence and Venice echo the parallels between Silvermoon and Suramar.
Exodar – Out of all the civilisations in Wow, the Draenei probably have the least connection to any existing society. But the Exodar is on the edge of the sea, has a lot of exotic colourful architecture, and Draenei seem to speak in vaguely Eastern European accents. So I'm going with
Orgrimmar – Durotar seems to be based on somewhere in North Africa/the Middle East. So we're looking for a city in a rocky desert environment, which sits at the border of multiple cultures, has a history of invasion, and lots of spikes. My initial thought was somewhere in Morocco, but then I found the city of
Djenne in Mali. The city is made almost entirely out of mud in the desert, and is centred around its Grand Mosque, which is the most Orcish building I've ever seen.
Darnassus – Another difficult one. The Night Elves have a number of influences. Celtic (relationship with nature, druidism), Classical (architecture), and Nordic (the whole 'drassil' tree thing, and also aspects of their architecture). As far as I know, there is only one place in the real world which has been subject to all three: Wales. At various points, Wales has been under the control of Celts, Romans, and Germanics. Unfortunately, there is nowhere in Wales which really has all three on show. The best candidate would be
Carmarthen, which is the oldest city in Wales and was the capital of its province under the Roman Empire, but there isn't much of a resemblance. You might also suggest
Rome, due to all the classical ruins, and because the Night Elves are basically the remnants of a lost empire. Plus it would work with the whole Venice = Suramar, Florence = Silvermoon thing. Visually, the closest place is probably the ancient city of
Angkor, the historic capital of the Khmer empire in Cambodia.
Dalaran – The society of Dalaran is clearly based on Oxford, in which the entire city is centred around an ancient university. However architecturally it is a lot more similar to
Istanbul, which also has a historical connection to the preservation of knowledge.
Shrine of Seven Stars/Two Moons. Pandaria doesn't really have a central city, but since it's so clearly based on China, I thought I would include it. The main inspiration for these places would be the
Forbidden City in Beijing.
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