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 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   , Markarth was abandoned until the rise of the Septim Empire, the third of the Cyrodilic Empires, built by Tiber Septim and his successor, Pelagius Septim.
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.  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, likely due to the abundance of stone found in The Reach. Another possibility is that the Nordic occupiers of Markarth constructed their own city over the ruins of the metallic Dwemer city. On the other hand, according to Amanda Alleia, a mercenary in Markarth, Dwemer miners had cut out the city from the mountains, which could mean that the external part of the city that's outside of the mountains was built by the Dwemer themselves. 
The Forsworn Uprising
In 4E 174, Markarth and the Reach was subjected to what is known today as the "Forsworn Uprising." While the Empire was beset by the Aldmeri Dominion in the Great War, the native people of the Reach, called the Reachmen, took this opportunity to seize control of the city. This was only possible as the Imperial Legionnaires stationed in Markarth were recalled to fight, leaving the city very vulnerable.
Jarl Igmund's father, Hrolfdir, was Jarl at the time, but could not quell the uprising and was killed in the struggle. 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.
In the Fourth Era, when the Mede Empire was in the midst of the Great War with the Aldmeri Dominion, troops from the Reach were called to join the war efforts in Cyrodiil. In the year of 4E 174, hardline Reachmen took the opportunity to rebel against the Empire and slaughter much of the Nord population in the city of Markarth. The uprising gained momentum, pushing the Nords out of the hold and removing The Reach from Imperial authority for two years. Between 4E 174 - 4E 176, the Reachmen established an independent kingdom.
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 militia. 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 Skyrim 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.
Points of interest
- Arnleif and Sons Trading Company - General goods
- The Hag's Cure - Alchemists
- Ghorza gra-Bagol's - Blacksmith
- Hogni Red-Arm's - Meat stall
- Kerah's - Jewelry stall
- Endon's House - Thieves Guild Fence
- Nepos's House
- Ogmund's House
- Smelter Overseer's House
- Vlindrel Hall (For sale)
- Abandoned House
- Cidhna Mine
- Markarth Lumber Mill and Forge
- Guard Tower
- Markarth Stables
- Shrine of Talos
- Temple of Dibella
- The Treasury House
- The Warrens
- Aicantar - Nephew and Assistant of Calcelmo
- Anton Virane - Cook in the keep
- Calcelmo - Court Wizard of Markarth
- Legate Emmanuel Admand - Imperial Legate
- Faleen - Jarl's Housecarl
- Jarl Igmund - The Jarl of Markarth
- Ondolemar - One of the leaders of Thalmor
- Raerek - Uncle and steward to the Jarl
- Rondach - Servant in the Keep
- Thongvor Silver-Blood - Thonar Silver-Blood's Elder brother
- Brother Verulus - Priest of Arkay
- Voada - Servant in the Keep
- Adara - Daughter of Endon & Kerah.
- Anwen - Priestess of Dibella.
- Betrid Silver-Blood - Thonar Silver-Blood's wife.
- Bothela - Owner of The Hag's Cure.
- Cairine - Beggar of The Warrens.
- Cosnach - Local drunk at the Silver-Blood Inn.
- Degaine - Beggar of The Warrens.
- Donnel - Old servant of The Treasury House.
- Dryston - Messenger.
- Eltrys - Beggar of The Warrens.
- Endon - Husband of Kerah and Thieves Guild Fence.
- Frabbi - Wife of Kleppr.
- Garvey - Beggar of The Warrens.
- Ghorza gra-Bagol - Orc Blacksmith.
- Hamal - Mother and Head priestess of Dibella.
- Hathrasil - Breton Smelter.
- Hogni Red-Arm - Meat vendor.
- Hreinn - Kleppr's son.
- Hroki - Kleppr's daughter.
- Imedhnain - Assistant of Lisbet and nephew of Cosnach.
- Kerah - Jewelry Merchant and wife of Endon.
- Kleppr - Owner of the Silver-Blood Inn.
- Lisbet - Owner of Arleif And Sons Trading Company.
- Nana Ildene - Old servant of The Treasury House.
- Margret - Traveler.
- Morven - Servant to Nepos the Nose.
- Muiri - Bothela's assistant at The Hag's Cure.
- Mulush gro-Shugurz - Orc Smelter Overseer.
- Nepos the Nose - Elderly man.
- Ogmund - Nord Bard and Expert Trainer in Speechcraft.
- Omluag - Breton Smelter and resident at The Warrens.
- Orla - Priestess of Dibella.
- Reburrus Quintilius - Resident of The Treasury House.
- Rhiada - Owner of The Treasury House.
- Senna - Priestess of Dibella.
- Tacitus Sallustius - Ghorza gra-Bagol's blacksmith apprentice.
- Thonar Silver-Blood - Resident of The Treasury House.
- Tynan - Servant to Nepos the Nose.
- Uaile - Maid to Nepos the Nose.
- Verulus - Priest of Arkay.
- Vigilant Tyranus - Daedra hunter.
- Vorstag - Mercenary at the Silver-Blood Inn.
- Weylin - Forsworn agent.
- Yngvar the Singer - Works for the Silver-Blood family.
- Braig - Forsworn prisoner.
- Borkul the Beast - Forsworn prisoner.
- Duach - Forsworn prisoner.
- Grisvar the Unlucky - Prisoner.
- Madanach - Leader of Forsworn prisoners.
- Odvan - Forsworn prisoner.
- Uraccen - Forsworn prisoner.
- Urzoga gra-Shugurz - Mercenary of the Silver-Bloods.
Nearby points of interest
Following is a list of some surrounding points of interest.
This section contains bugs related to Markarth. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
|Cities||Dawnstar • Falkreath • Markarth • Morthal • Riften • Solitude • Whiterun • Windhelm • Winterhold|
|Holds||Eastmarch • Falkreath Hold • Haafingar • Hjaalmarch • The Pale |
The Reach • The Rift • Winterhold Hold • Whiterun Hold