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Minrathous is the capital of the Tevinter Imperium and the largest city in Thedas.[1][2] It is built on a rocky island not far from the shore, accessible only by a single bridge that can be destroyed if needed. The island features massive ports and shipyards and a vast series of underground catacombs capable of holding food enough to feed the city for a year.[2]


Minrathous is one of the oldest human settlements in Thedas. Before the founding of the Tevinter Imperium, a magister was a top representative of a local society of mages, the Circle of Magi, in a state council of the most powerful mages. The magisters would convene in Minrathous and held dominion over all magic in the land.[3] During the golden age of the Imperium, Minrathous was the capital of the known world. Ruled by the powerful Imperial Senate and dynasties of mighty Archons, the city was, for nearly a thousand years, the greatest and wealthiest city in the world. Guarded by high walls and two powerful golems called Juggernauts,[4][5] as well as powerful blood mages, the city is a lasting symbol of Tevinter glory, with structures built with jet rock from the Kirkwall area.[6]

Minrathous Street

A Minrathous alley

Throughout its history, many different armies besieged the city; none ever managed to capture it.[7]

Minrathous WOT2

Magic keeps many of Minrathous' ancient structures standing

Once the center of the world, vestiges of Minrathous' power and artistry can still be seen, yet are marred by the wear of time.[9] Buildings that would otherwise collapse are kept upright by powerful magic[10] and general wear and grime permeate the poorer quarters of the city. The high towers of the mage elite rise above the small homes of peasants and slaves, literally elevating the upper echelons of society away from the worst of the poverty. The disparity between social classes has been exacerbated in the Dragon Age, as the outskirts of the city fill with refugees fleeing from the Imperium's never-ending war against the Qunari.[9]


Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Luck in the Gardens
In their search for an ancient cave in the city's Catacombs, the Venatori stumble on a monstrous creature, a massive tentacled monster wearing a crown of eyeless heads, dubbed the Cekorax. Dorian Pavus puts a bounty on the creature's head when it starts killing civilians. The contract is fulfilled by Hollix of the Lords of Fortune.

The Streets of Minrathous
Private Investigator Neve Gallus stumbles on the Venatori plot to awaken an ancient, powerful demon, sealed in a cave under the city. With the help of several templars, she's able to stop the Venatori from waking the demon. She leaves the demon sealed in the Catacombs.

Half Up Front
Vadis is hired by a mysterious elven woman to steal Dumat's Folly, said to be a piece of the Black City, from the Archon's palace in Minrathous. When she infiltrates the palace with Irian Cestes, they realize that the Qunari have stolen the artefact first. In the escape route that the previous thieves used, Vadis finds a replica of Dumat's Folly and a note that allows Vadis to track them to Kont-aar with blood magic.

Vadis had previously fulfilled an unspecified job in the Archon's Palace for Dorian Pavus.

Dragon Age: The Missing[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Missing.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Solas has been stealing Venatori artifacts, attacking Venatori sites, and freeing elven Venatori slaves in Minrathous. A Tevinter organization called the Shadow Dragons seek to help the escaped slaves. Varric Tethras, Lace Harding, and Neve Gallus team up to find Solas but instead forgo their opportunity to catch him in favor of aiding the escaped slaves defend against a Venatori ambush.


Minrathous Panorama Shot

Minrathous at night

  • The Arcanist Hall[11]
  • The Archon's Palace
  • The Argent Spire – houses the Black Divine[12]
  • The Catacombs – as ancient as the city itself; they hold a year's worth of food of supplies to be used in case of Blight or Qunari invasion[13]
  • Circle of Magi – the second-oldest building in the Imperium, originally the Temple of Razikale; it is the best-preserved example of ancient architecture in the Imperium[2]
  • Dwarven Embassy – home of the Ambassadoria or body of dwarven representatives, and said to be constructed by Archon Darinius himself as a guest home for the legendary dwarven king Endrin Stonehammer; it is still in use and is considered one of the wonders of the world. It is completely subterranean so that dwarves who serve there can retain their castes[14]
  • Docktown
  • Dumat Plaza
  • Grand Proving Arena – another architectural marvel, built in -1200 Ancient[15] based on dwarven design; it is a triangular prism with hanging terraced gardens on the exterior, said to be a "green jewel at the center of a stone city"[2]
  • Three Imperators' Square – named after the three statues posed around a sluggishly-trickling fountain in the center[16]
  • Vivazzi Plaza – one of the venues in the plaza is known for its dancers and large cracked bell hanging off of the roof[17]


  • The Imperial Highway begins in Minrathous prior to heading southeast.
  • Minrathous is the only known surface settlement that uses golems–called Juggernauts–in its defense. These golems' armor is emblazoned with the symbol for the constellation Servani, "the Chained Man." This depicts a man carrying a heavy chain, and is closely associated with Andoral, the Old God of Slaves.[5]
  • According to the Canticle of Exaltations, when the Maker has returned to the world, Minrathous will be the place where Andraste will forgive mankind's transgressions and restore the original harmony.
  • According to Fenris, the Minrathous Slave Bazaar contains alleys that are ten miles long. Fenris also comments on the similarities between the bazaar and the Lowtown market in Kirkwall.[18]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.