Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Markarth.

Markarth, also known as Markarth Side, is one of the many major cities in Skyrim. It is known for its rich silver mines that use convict labour, which are mostly owned by the influential Silver-Bloods family. The cutthroat intrigue surrounding Markarth's silver producing industry popularized the local saying, "Blood and silver are what flows through Markarth...."[1] 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, venturing to and from Markarth is one of the most treacherous trips for travelers.

"Nothing ever changes in the City of Stone, and that's just fine."
Amanda Alleia[src]

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 High King Olaf One-Eye, who expanded Skyrim's boundaries when he conquered the Reach, saw that the city be turned over to Nord control.[5]


In gratitude for the service of the Tongues in Tamriel's long and complex history, Emperor Tiber Septim established the Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth, which was dedicated to returning the Way of the Voice to the ancient and honorable art of war. So it may be that the mighty deeds of the Nord heroes of old will soon be equalled or surpassed on the battlefields of the present day.[6] Unlike the other Dwemer cities and strongholds located in Morrowind, Hammerfell,High Rock and Skyrim, the city of Markarth was not constructed out of metal, but instead was primarily 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.[7]

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.[8] This was only possible as the Imperial Legionnaires stationed in Markarth were recalled to fight the forces of the Dominion, leaving the city highly vulnerable to conquest.[9]

Jarl Igmund's father, Hrolfdir, was Jarl at the time, but could not quell the uprising and was driven out of the city.[9] The rebellion was successful and the Reachmen ruled over Markarth and The Reach as an independent kingdom from Skyrim from 4E 174–176. According to one Imperial source, the kingdom was relatively peaceful during this time; the Reachmen allegedly ruled their lands fairly, and even made overtures to be recognized by the Empire as a legitimate kingdom.[8] Others claimed that it was a chaotic uprising and that Markarth's nobles grew desperate when the Reachmen refused their offers of peace.[9]

Markarth Incident

Desperate to reclaim the Reach, Hrolfdir and his family 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, or face another Great War between the Empire and the Dominion. 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 and be the foundation for the creation of the Stormcloaks.

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 Nord nobles' control over the Reach and Markarth.


Vlindrel Hall
Main article: Vlindrel Hall (Skyrim)

When the Jarl approves the Dragonborn after helping the people of Markarth, they become eligible to buy Vlindrel Hall for 8000 Gold from his steward, Raerek. Vlindrel, like the rest of the houses of Markarth, is built in the Dwemer architectural style with a large golden door leading into the cliffside. The house is the highest of every residences of Markarth and gives a great view of the city's buildings, waterfalls, and mountains of The Reach.

Points of interest

MarkarthMarketplaceDay - BirdsEyeView

Markarth's market place.




Jarl's residence




Jarl Igmund

Jarl Igmund

Understone Keep


Cidhna Mine

Nearby points of interest

The following is a list of some surrounding points of interest:

Interactive map



  • Guards remark that Markarth is the safest city in Skyrim.[11]
  • Vampires appear on the walkway between the smelter and the Warrens, within immediate detection range of five guards, as opposed to other cities where they appear at a lightly guarded major entrance.


This section contains bugs related to Markarth (Skyrim). 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.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
  •  PC   360   PS3   If choosing to help the Forsworn in the quest "The Forsworn Conspiracy," it is possible the bounty will never be able to be removed from the city. After finishing "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine," guards will approach and enter the dialogue to start the quest again. If the option to be arrested and thrown into Cidhna mine is selected, the dialogue loops back to the beginning again. It is impossible to do quests in the city as canceling the dialog results in the guards going hostile.
  • It is possible to get a free house in Markarth, it involves finding the Jarl while he is sleeping. Go into his room and put money in a dresser. Either leave the money in the dresser and wake him up and he will say "You have done me a great service," or the money will have to be removed from the dresser and the Jarl will need to be woken up to talk to him.
  •  PS3   If a truce between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks is negotiated before visiting Markarth for the first time, the scripted event that triggers upon entry (in which Weylin attempts to murder Margret) will cause both Imperial guards and Stormcloak guards to spawn. The outnumbered faction will fight until killed by the city guards, causing no other problems.
  •  PC   PS3   Helping Madanach escape may trigger all the guards to constantly chase the Dragonborn in an attempt to arrest them, even long after the quest (it can also occur if the Dragonborn commits a crime in Markarth and reaches a high bounty). On the
    •  PC (Fix)   In the console set all three factions that rule Markarth back to 0 fine. Codes being player.setcrimegold 0 00018aac, player.setcrimegold 0 0008e764, and player.setcrimegold 0 0002816c.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   PC (Fix)   Solution: Enter Markarth at a high enough level. Upon entering the city, do not be detected by any guards, and enter the Shrine of Talos. The three guards from the previous quest, "The Forsworn Conspiracy," will still be there, and the middle guard will engage in the same conversation as at the end of that quest. The other two guards will attack. Answer the guard with "You're corrupt, Thonar is paying you," and then again with "Fine, I'll come quietly." The guard will then do nothing. After a few seconds, the same guard will attempt an arrest, and give the option to pay off the bounty.
    • Solution: Give Markarth to the Stormcloaks at the negotiations of "Season Unending." All of the Markarth guards will be replaced with Stormcloak Soldiers who will no longer attempt an arrest. However, if any criminal acts are committed, such as trespassing, theft, or murder it will start up again.
  • Even if the Forsworn questline went off without a hitch, the corrupt guards may still be present in the Shrine of Talos and attempt an arrest or attack. The only real solution is to avoid this place all together after completing the quest.
  •  360   The river flow may go the wrong way. This does not affect gameplay, but it is a visual bug that occasionally fixes itself.
  •  PS3   After starting "The Forsworn Conspiracy," a dead Markarth Guard may be found outside the Silver-Blood Inn.
  •  360   After starting "The House of Horrors" and entering Abandoned House, there is a small window of time to exit the building before it locks itself which, if used, will bug the quest permanently and trap any followers inside. This will make it unable to recruit anyone else, and the Dragonborn will not be able to get the Mace of Molag Bal.
  •  PC   With the installation of the High Resolution Texture Pack, the banners for Markarth may malfunction and display the text "MARKARTH" instead of the actual banner.