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Game and Reality: Himmelsdorf

The scenery in World of Tanks leads us through picturesque valleys and provinces, abandoned cities, industrial areas, water, fjords, and deserts. The whole geography of the game is composed of invented locations based on real places in the world. Today, we offer you the chance to see what sights Himmelsdorf is based on.

On the map you can see blinking points that can be hovered over to open sliders. To compare images, hover your cursor over the slider and move the bar located in the center of the image from right to left, and vice versa, while holding LMB. Each sight is accompanied with a short summary and exact coordinates.

 

Himmelsdorf is a city that never existed until there arose a necessity to create an urban map in World of Tanks. The map was created during the beta testing stage.

The developers faced the task of recreating the atmosphere of urban tank combat. The inspiration behind creating the collective image of an old destroyed German city came from the personal journeys of the level artists. Photos from vacations and business trips to Prague, Cologne, Lviv, and Warsaw served as references.

Himmelsdorf holds the record for the largest number of birds on a map, with 29 birds circling above the city.

The level artists tried to take all details into account and created signboards, paths, traffic lights, dividers, lamps and benches, based on black and white pre-war photos.

For example, to find original images of phone booths, artists had to use their creativity. German WWII soldiers often mentioned the Fasse dich kurz (“Be brief”) inscription that was written in phone booths. This phrase helped researchers to find the original images hidden in the archives.

 

As the developers recollect, the draft version of the map was called “Wienersdorf” but it was eventually released under a name that derives from the German word Himmel (the sky).

The town hall, old church, castle, and houses with saw-tooth roofs designed for Himmelsdorf can now be seen on other World of Tanks maps that were created later.

Keep your eyes open for more comparative tours around the real world inspirations behind World of Tanks maps, coming soon!
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