Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Castle Volkihar is a location in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. It is a large castle that rests on a secluded island in the Sea of Ghosts. The castle serves as the primary base for the Volkihar Clan. If the Dragonborn joins the Volkihar Vampires, the castle can be used as a home.


"It's my family home. Not the most welcoming place, but depending on who's around, I'll be safe there."

Castle Volkihar is located in a previously inaccessible region in the far northwest corner of Skyrim, near the sea border with High Rock. The entrance can initially be accessed via Icewater Jetty, northwest of Northwatch Keep. The castle can also be reached by Ferrymen, or by swimming across the channel.

Volkihar Keep

Volkihar Keep is located inside Castle Volkihar, which is the primary residence for the Volkihar Vampires. Volkihar Keep is moderately large, with multiple levels and rooms.

Dining Hall

Harkon welcomes Serana home.

Upon entering the castle, the spacious main dining area is the most prominent sight. Two dining tables loaded with platters of human flesh and bones flank the long decorative rug that lines the center of the hall. A vampire cattle is laid out on each table and fed upon by members of the court throughout the day. All the silver plates and goblets found here are smeared with blood.

At the back of the room is the main table where Lord Harkon's throne is found. This table is also where his primary advisors, Vingalmo and Orthjolf, typically sit.

Feran's Laboratory

This room is usually inhabited by Feran Sadri and Ronthil who can be found working or reading throughout the day.

An Alchemy Lab and a display case with various alchemy ingredients can be found in the bottom floor. In addition, a dead Dunmer alchemist alongside a skeleton can be found lying on the main table. Near the main table is a bookshelf with an assortment of books. This room is also where Ronthil sleeps, usually behind the bookshelf as he is still considered a new recruit and not worthy of sleeping in the coffins that the other vampires sleep in.

A set of stairs leads up to a balcony overlooking the laboratory where an arcane enchanter and a display case with various soul gems can be found. Following the balcony leads to another section with a table and chair that overlooks the balcony. Garan Marethi and Vingalmo can usually be found here.

A panoramic view of Castle Volkihar and its surroundings.

Bloodstone Chalice Room

This small blood spattered room is attached to the main dining area. The central feature is the small stone pedestal that the Bloodstone Chalice sits on, once it is returned to the castle. This chalice grants Blood of the Ancients which allows Vampiric Drain to absorb magicka and stamina in addition to health.

In addition to the chalice, two well stocked bookcases and a cupboard with a few bottles of skooma are the only things of note.

Sleeping Quarters

From the balcony area, the sleeping quarters can be accessed. This room contains eight coffins that are used by most of the vampires in the court. Sleeping in a coffin grants the Vampiric Blood Rested effect.

At the back of the room is a small unit that contains an assortment of vampire armors, two pairs of vampire boots and a display case holding a bone hawk amulet. A weapons rack with a leveled weapon can be found near the entrance to the room.

Smithy and Training Room

The Castle's blacksmith can be found off of the main dining area where Hestla can be found tending to the forge. This area contains most crafting stations: a forge, tanning rack, grindstone and a workbench, although it lacks a smelter. The upper walkway holds a weapon rack and a training dummy that Fura Bloodmouth frequently practices against. Off to the side is a combat training area complete with ranged targets and additional weapon racks.

Harkon's Room

Next, there is an area that Harkon and Serana often visit, as it has their thrones and a giant locked cage used for keeping Vampire Cattle in. Harkon and Serana can be found sitting in front of the fireplace watching the flames from their chairs. There is a torture table in the middle of the room, with a vast array of torture instruments ranging from ladles to irons. A unique werewolf pelt can be found in a display case. There is also a knife that can be picked up and used as a weapon, even though it resembles a common silverware knife.

Serana's Room

Before the "The Bloodstone Chalice" quest, the room is empty and abandoned, but after the quest is completed the room is fully furnished. There is an arcane enchanter and an alchemy lab in the southwest corner, as well as a few potions and soul gems around them. In the northwest part of the room there is a small closet containing a wardrobe and two locked glass cases: one with two unenchanted necklaces, the other with an enchanted dagger and an unenchanted ring. Also scattered around the room are various planters and pots containing different types of assorted flora, as well a minor loot around the two nightstands flanking the bed.


After passing through a small corridor with kegs of dripping blood in it is the kitchen. There are few things worth noting here aside from minor items and a bleeding rack, as well as a coffin usually used by Rargal Thrallmaster.

Thrall Dungeon

There is a dungeon attached to the kitchen which has six vampire cattle locked away in jail cells and a couple of kegs of blood.

Volkihar Cathedral

Lord Harkon standing next to the Molag Bal altar

The cathedral of the castle is mostly in ruins. Dark and dank, the most prominent feature is the large altar of Molag Bal in the center that perpetually flows with blood. Around the sides of the room are stairs that lead to a small balcony above the main door and an empty chest can be found near the entrance. The Cathedral is the location where the Dragonborn and Serana confront Harkon in the quest "Kindred Judgment."

Volkihar Dungeons

Main article: Volkihar Dungeons

The dungeon part of the castle is distinctly separate from the living quarters of the castle and are host to enemies. The Volkihar Dungeons include Volkihar Undercroft, Volkihar East Tower, Volkihar North Tower, and Volkihar Ruins.


Volkihar Exterior Watchtower

Exterior Watchtower

This watchtower is located across the castle on the other side of the bridge, next to the small wooden dock. It provides a high, safe place from which a guard can watch anyone attempting to approach the island.

Volkihar Bridge

Outside of Castle Volkihar where the bridge is shown

This is the main entrance to the castle. Stone statues of gargoyles line the pathway to the main gate and bone hawks typically circle above. Along the rocky shore, several clams can be found and harvested for clam meat. Washed up crates, pieces of old wood, and debris are scattered around the castle's shoreline.

Volkihar Docks

On the north side of the island is an unused dock with a few sunken ships and some minor loot nearby. The inlet was used by the previous owners to bring supplies into the castle. Clams and a few barnacles can be found and harvested. Several hostile skeletons patrol nearby.

Castle Volkihar Balcony

The balcony is attached to Valerica's Study, where the Soul Cairn portal is located. The balcony is a quick fast travel location for Valerica's Study. The only loot that is out on the balcony is a bloody tankard and two dead salmon.




  • Although technically in Haafingar hold, items stolen from Castle Volkihar do not count towards completing a bedlam job in Solitude for Delvin Mallory.
  • There is a Mythic Dawn Banner in Lord Harkon's room.
  • If sided with the vampires, the castle will effectively "reset" every 35 in-game days. Objects "out in the world" will respawn, and locks will reset, but all wardrobes and bookcases within the keep are safe for storage.
  • The inhabitants can be seen eating what looks to be bloodied meat instead of the typical slice of bread that characters can be seen eating throughout the game.
  • The castle consists of two completely disjointed paths. One leads through the main entrance to the main hall and into the cathedral. The other path is from the back entrance, through the dungeons, into the courtyard and up into Valerica's study to the balcony. There is no way, for example, to get from the balcony to the main hall through an interior route.
  • In the first room on the left of the castle, there is a display case containing a heart, a nail, a ring, an eye and a rib, the same items as the Dracula's Relics from the Castlevania series.
  • Volkihar Cathedral has two different cells in the game, one of which is specifically designed for the "Kindred Judgment," where the Dragonborn fights Harkon. This means that it is possible to lose dropped items in the Cathedral.


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

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   If Lord Harkon's Dragon Priest Dagger is removed from the display case, the case becomes glitched and nothing can be put in it.
  •  PC   NX   It has been observed that the Gates of Castle Volkihar sometimes will not open, causing the dialog between Serana and the gatekeeper not to transpire. This prevents access to the keep. It is possible to place a wooden plate against the wall, pressing the plate and yourself against the gate and then using the shout Whirlwind Sprint will glitch the player through the gate. This will successfully allow the player to skip the conversation between the gatekeeper and Serana (if Serana is in the players party), teleporting Serana into the castle with you. Leaving the castle requires the player to use another plate, or fast travel out. If the Dragonborn used this glitch to enter the castle prior to the quest, the castle door will not open even if the player glitches through the gate, rendering it impossible to complete the quest.
  •  PC   360   After completing the main Dawnguard questline for the Dawnguard and killing all the inhabitants of the castle, the items found in the castle are still treated as owned and thus taking them counts as Stealing. However, the "Stolen" tag is removed from all items you place into the giant chest in the room where you battle Harkon, if you have a follower retrieve them from it. (This can also be done using any prison's "Evidence" chest.)
  •  PS4   XB1   If the player fast travels to the island the castle is on with Shadowmere, she will remain there when the player leaves. She will only leave the island if the player mounts her and fast travels off the island or swims back to the mainland.
  •  PS4   Traversing between the smithing workshop and alchemy room via the main hall can cause members of Lord Harkon's court to appear once the Dragonborn enters and turn invisible once the Dragonborn switches to another room. This includes Garmr and CuSith if either dog is on the first floor, as well as the dead alchemist in the alchemy room. This will not apply anywhere else inside the castle, however.