Lore:Dwemer Ruins

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Mzulft, a Dwemer ruin in Skyrim

Dwemer ruins are all that remain of the underground cities and strongholds of the Dwemer. They are found everywhere in Tamriel,[1] being a common sight in Morrowind[2][3] (especially Vvardenfell), Skyrim[4][3] and Hammerfell,[5][3] with some also present in High Rock.[3][6] Most of these ruins are guarded by functional and self-repairing Dwemer constructs.

Many Dwemer settlements continue to be inhabited even after the disappearance of the Dwarves. They often serve as lairs for outcasts such as bandits and vampires, while some, such as Markarth and Dagon Fel, have been renovated and function as modern settlements. In Skyrim, the twisted Falmer continually reclaim the ancient ruins of their former masters.


The structure of Dwemer ruins varies with location, with those located on Vvardenfell being significantly different from those found on the rest of Tamriel. Vvardenfell ruins are typically shallow, with many civic and operational buildings located close to the surface. The ruins on the mainland are usually deeper, with minor warehouses and passageways located near the surface. In these ruins, the actual settlement is hidden deep underground, beneath a certain threshold referred to as the "geocline".[6][7]

Dwemer ruins often contain structures like the Arcanex, where magical objects and text were stored, or the Great Animoculotories, which acted as factories of centurions and other constructs. Some cities, like Bthardamz in Skyrim, were partially built into natural caverns, referred to as the "Deep Venues". The largest of those could even contain underground roads.[8] Dwemer architecture consists mainly of Dwarven metal and stone. It often incorporates subterranean magma in order to power the machinery and intricate mechanisms found within.

Known Dwemer Ruins[edit]

Nchardahrk, a Dwemer ruin in Vvardenfell
Volenfell, a Dwemer ruin in Hammerfell which was once a capital of the Rourken clan
Entrance to the Dwarven mines at Red Mountain
Graven Deep, an underwater Dwemer observatory at the bottom of the Abecean Sea
A map showing the rough locations of most Dwemer ruins in Tamriel
Skyrim concept art


  • The Dwarven Orrery complex at the Arcane University in Cyrodiil is not a Dwemer ruin. Instead, it was built by the Imperials from imported machinery.[17][18]
  • The Ancient Tales of the Dwemer series mentions Dwemer locations of Bthalag-Zturamz, Duathand, Lorikh, and Othrobar, but the books are largely considered fiction, meaning it is unknown whether they are real locations (Lorikh in particular is noted to be a Dunmer name).[19]