Minrathous is the capital of the Tevinter Imperium and the largest city in Thedas. 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.
Minrathous is one of the oldest human settlements in Thedas; during the golden age of the Imperium, it 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, 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.
Throughout its history, many and different armies sieged the city but none of them managed to capture it.
- The prophetess Andraste followed by her barbarian army, achieved big and stunning victories against the Imperium before failing to capture Minrathous in -171 Ancient.
- During the Second Blight, in the Divine Age, the darkspawn horde led by Zazikel also failed.
- Massive armies were assembled during the Exalted Marches declared by the Andrastian Chantry against the Imperium. However, they all failed their goal of capturing Minrathous.
- During the Steel Age, the Qunari led a campaign which conquered almost the entirety of northern Thedas. However, even their cannons weren't sufficient to capture Tevinter's capital.
By the Dragon Age, the city is full of refugees fleeing from the never-ending war against the Qunari. Centuries of decadence have let the once great city fall more and more into decay with each passing year. The remnants of its former glory can still be seen, but are buried under the filth of ages of decay and apathy. Many old buildings are falling apart, held upright by powerful magic. The high towers of the Circle of Magi rise above the small homes of peasants, however, and clearly demonstrate who is in charge of Tevinter.
- 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.
- Grand Proving Arena, another architectural marvel, built in -1200 Ancient 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".
- 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.
- The Argent Spire; houses the Black Divine.
- Three Imperators' Square
- The Imperial Highway starts from this city before moving 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.
- 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.