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MarkarthSide Markarth
Markarthmapkey 03
Hold The Reach
Jarl Jarl Igmund
LocationID MarkarthOrigin
"Nothing ever changes in the City of Stone, and that's just fine.[1]"
The City of Stone

Markarth is one of the major cities in Skyrim. The city is located in the far west of Skyrim, in the mountains of The Reach, west of the Karth River. As a result the city has a good natural defense, even from the skies. Being a long distance from any other major city and with both main roads cutting through mountains, valleys and rugged terrain, traveling to and from Markarth is one of the most treacherous trips for travelers.

The city is split by a large running river and comprises two parts: Riverside, where the native Reachmen and the working district are found; and the Dryside, housing all the houses of Nord nobles and Silver-Blood ownership. The Jarl's palace, Understone Keep, is located at the top of the city and contains the Hall of the Dead, the Dwemer Museum, and the Nchuand-Zel Excavation Site where the internal part of the old Dwemer city remains in ruins. Most of the city's residents tend to be quite unfriendly to outsiders.



Markarth Seal

Markarth was the former city of Nchuand-Zel, belonging to the ancient Dwemer (also known as the Dwarves) who resided in Morrowind, Skyrim, Hammerfell and High Rock during the Merethic Era and First Era. Following the disappearance of the Dwemer from the face of Nirn after they attempted to control the power of the Numidium [2] [3] [4], Markarth was abandoned until the natives of the Reach known as Reachmen, moved into the city. The rise of the Septim Empire however, saw Markarth conquered by the Imperials and thus ceasing the natives control over the city.


Emperor Tiber Septim established the Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth, which attracted the Nords who established it as one of the nine major cities of Skyrim.[5] Unlike the Dwemer cities and strongholds located in Morrowind, Hammerfell and High Rock, the city of Markarth was not constructed out of metal, but instead was built out of stone. According to Amanda Alleia, a mercenary in Markarth, Dwemer miners had cut out the city from the mountains, which probably means that the external part of the city that's outside of the mountains was built by the Dwemer themselves.[6]

The Forsworn Uprising

TESV Banner Markarth

The banner of Markarth.

In 4E 174, Markarth, and the Reach as a whole, were subjected to what is known today as the "Forsworn Uprising." While the Empire was beset by the Third Aldmeri Dominion in the Great War, the native people of the Reach, called the Reachmen, took this opportunity to seize control of the city.[7] This was only possible as the Imperial Legionnaires stationed in Markarth were recalled to fight, leaving the city highly vulnerable.[8]

Jarl Igmund's father, Hrolfdir, was Jarl at the time, but could not quell the uprising and was killed in the struggle.[8] The rebellion was successful and the Reachmen ruled over Markarth and The Reach as an independent kingdom from Skyrim from 4E 174 - 4E 176. During this time, the kingdom was relatively peaceful and the Reachmen ruled their lands fairly and were making overtures to be recognized by the Empire as a legitimate kingdom.[7]

Markarth Incident

Desperate to reclaim the Reach, Igmund enlisted the aid of Ulfric Stormcloak and his militia, promising them free worship of Talos in exchange for their assistance. Ulfric accepted, and his troops reconquered Markarth from the Reachmen soon after. The returning Legion, coming back to restore order in Skyrim after the Great War, was refused entry into Markarth until they granted free Talos worship. The Empire accepted, however, agents of the Aldmeri Dominion discovered the Empire was violating the terms of the White-Gold Concordat, and demanded the arrest of Ulfric and his men. The disillusionment of Ulfric and his men over what became known as the Markarth Incident would prove to become one of the direct causes of the Civil War.

In the aftermath of the Markarth Incident, the Reachmen took on the name of the Forsworn and fled to the highlands to continue their insurrection against the Empire's control over the Reach.


When the Jarl approves the Dragonborn after helping the people of Markarth, they become eligible to buy Vlindrel Hall for 8000 GoldIcon from his steward, Raerek.

Points of interest




Jarl's Residence



Understone Keep


Cidhna Mine

Nearby points of interest

Following is a list of some surrounding points of interest.

Interactive map



This section contains bugs related to Markarth. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Markarth

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    • i heard a strange voice unsubtitled in Solstheim after exiting that ice castle place with all the reiklings. .. some guy talking about treas...
    • Take a look at the thread here for that one.

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