Visiting Usti – The Real Chernarus
This blog entry details my visit to the real-life Chernarus, known as Ústí nad Labem. This corner of the world is full of real people who call this place home. Should you decide to visit yourself, the residents and their property should be shown the utmost respect and reverence. Do not assume that they have any idea why you are there, and do your best to minimize your impact as a visitor. Thank you – Tatanko
At the end of June, just in time for the summer solstice, a friend and I had the opportunity to live out every survivor’s dream: I visited Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic, otherwise known as the “real life Chernarus.” For those of us who have sunk countless hours into DayZ, this goes beyond merely a bucket list item – this was a pilgrimage.
A friend and I had the opportunity to live out every survivor’s dream: I visited Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic, otherwise known as the “real life Chernarus.”
Though the terrain for our beloved DayZ Chernarus map is based on the area of Ústí, where the developers are from, some of the buildings and several attractions are actually located outside the area elsewhere in the country. On day one, we decided to see some of the outliers. Our first stop was the basis for creating the Green Mountain tower: the Cukrák transmitter, located in the area of Jíloviště outside of Prague.
This tower is of course not located at the site of Green Mountain, but is nonetheless just as imposing in real life as it is in-game. Much of the detail is preserved in its translation to digital form, with only minor differences to be spotted.
We also visited the area of Mníšek pod Brdy, which contains a number of sights which inspired smaller pieces of Chernarus. Take, for example, the humble fire station. Though its garage bay doors were recently changed and no longer match the iconic look in-game, it is still identifiable as the one we all visit in major cities across the map. Some may not be aware, but the Pizza Presto you’ve seen on billboards is a real place too! It even has a website (www.pizzapresto.cz). Unfortunately we didn’t get to sample their food, but I’m told it’s delicious.
Day Two – Starting on the Coast
On day two, we journeyed to Ústí nad Labem itself, ready to explore a place we knew like home but had never actually been. Immediately upon arriving to what would be the southern coast of South Zagoria, the feeling of familiarity begins to settle in. We start to see familiar buildings, and the winding of the river here closely resembles the edge of the sea in-game.
Our first stop is Kozí Vrch, known in-game as Pik Kozlova. This is an appropriate beginning to our journey, because it affords us a breathtaking view of the entire coastal area and even some locations inland thanks to the sheer height of our position. There are rocky crags just as one would expect, and from up here it is trivial to identify smaller, individual towns like Prigorodki, Dubky, and Chapaevsk even as they expand and grow together over time.
From there, we make our way back down the mountain, and then complete the relatively short drive to Castle Blansko (aka Zub Castle). Along the way, we spot some familiar sights from the game like this old Lada Niva serving tractor duty in its later life. The castle itself is the focus of a few hiking trails with tourist signs in the area, and is reached by crossing some rather wide fields and up a hill into the forest.
Though the layout isn’t far off from reality, you won’t find a tall castle tower here as you would in-game. This is no cause for disappoint however, as the views from this height are still just as stunning as you would expect.
Many nearby towns can be seen with ease even without any sort of binoculars, in particular the town of Blansko (Vyshnoye). Previous visitors have established a campfire circle here, complete with benches, though we didn’t stay long enough to make use of this convenience.
To make the best use of our time, we return south through Mírkov (Mogilevka), and then looped north once again to Slavošov (Novy Sobor) where we pass by the rows of barns that survivors are familiar with. From there, it’s a short drive west to Lipová (Stary Sobor) where we begin by parking in a very familiar lot.
The town of Lipová feels so similar it’s uncanny, and the first thing we do is race to get our picture with the iconic cow sheds and big red metal barn.
The town of Lipová is perhaps closer to its in-game equivalent than most. The layout is so similar it’s uncanny, and the first thing we do is race to get our picture with the iconic cow sheds and big red metal barn. They are practically carbon copies of what we see in DayZ, though their condition varies a little bit from what we’re used to.
Certain buildings may not be the same, but most are in the same spot that you would expect to find them. Features like the utility building on the hill, and the pond at the western end of town are unmistakable. Though it’s not the one we’re familiar with, a church can be found here dating back hundreds of years.
By this point, we’ve already spent much of our time in Ústí simply getting between points of interest. We stop nearby “to smell the roses,” so to speak, at the center of it all: the hill we know as Altar. It’s a little steeper in real life, which is par for the course, but really makes you feel like you’re in the middle of everything once you make it to the top. It’s a great spot to stop and reflect on what we’ve seen so far.
Feeling good, we make our way towards Gorka, continuing our leisurely tour of the countryside to get a better sense of where things are relative to one another. Eventually, we arrive in the village of Javory – the counterpart to Gorka – and immediately upon entering we are faced with the one-and-only yellow church. It simply dominates the town, sitting on a hill that overlooks the majority of the residences.
We have one more stop from here, across the map at the fabled Green Mountain. Though you will not find the tower that is synonymous with this location (since it is elsewhere, as I mentioned earlier), the geography is very much the same. It includes a dirt access road that runs across its entire diameter, just as in real life, and we scaled to the top for some gorgeous views of the meadows surrounding it.
Big thank you to Baty and Adam from the DayZ development team for coming along on our tour! You can find more of my images and impressions from my trip in this imgur album.
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