Lore:Walking the World, Vol XI

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|description=A comprehensive description of the city of Solitude}}</noinclude>
{{LetterPic|W}}elcome, friend. In our latest volume, we cover [[{{NAMESPACE}}:SolitudeLore Link|Solitude]]}}. Spatior could not be more pleased to be at the very seat of [[{{NAMESPACE}}:ImperialLore Link|Imperial]]}} power in {{Lore Link|Skyrim}}. In the course of our tour, you'll see that Solitude's riches extend from her people to the history and architecture that make up the city itself.
As ever, we begin our journey outside the city walls, this time at the bottom of the hill that ascends all the way to Solitude's massive gates.
Before scaling the hill to the city, you should be sure to take in the sights. Wander the track that leads down to the docks, and you can stop to enjoy one of the best views of the Great Arch.
Originally serving as both a landmark and windbreak for Solitude's port, the easily-defended Great Arch also provided an ideal building site for the ancient [[{{NAMESPACELore Link|Nord}}:Nord|Nords]]s.
The city gradually grew to extend across the entire length of the arch. This growth culminated in the building of the Blue Palace, home of the High Kings and Queens of Skyrim. We will visit the palace later.
The second tower and first, smaller gate are collectively known as the Squall Gate. Here, attacking armies meet their first real resistance. Last and certainly most impressive is the Storm Gate.
While [[Skyrim:Castle{{Lore DourLink|Castle Dour]]}}, found just within the city's main gate, has always been a massive walled structure, Solitude's outer walls and gates were not added until shortly after the coronation of High King Erling.
Looking up and to the left of the main gate, you can see a small hint of Erling's preference for a more rounded style of architecture that we will see later in the Castle Dour extension, as well as the interior arch and the windmill.
====The Well District====
Stepping inside Solitude's gates, you get your first view of the city itself. Rising tall and proud before you, banners waving from its crown, is the [[Skyrim:Castle Dour, Emperor's Tower|Emperor's Tower]]. Home to the Kings of [[{{NAMESPACELore Link|Haafingar}}:Haafingar|Haafingar]] before the consolidation of Skyrim and the creation of the Blue Palace, the Emperor's Tower is now used exclusively as guest quarters for Emperors who come to visit the city.
To your left and right are Solitude's inn and shops. Here can be found some of the finest imported goods in Skyrim. After all, Solitude is a wealthy city with ready access to the major shipping lanes of [[Lore:Tamriel|Tamriel]].
At the far end of the courtyard stands the impressive [[Skyrim:Temple of the Divines|Temple of the Divines]]. The founders of Solitude were deeply devout and Solitude is the only place in Skyrim where all of the divines are {{sic|worshiped|worshipped}} in a single temple. All three of the buildings here are well worth taking a look inside, but only the Temple and Castle Dour's military wing are open.
If you do venture inside the temple, take special note of the alcoves at the front. You can see the empty alcove that once held the [[sr:{{Lore Link|Shrines|shrine]]}} of {{Lore Link|Talos}} before Talos worship was outlawed.
From the courtyard, travel out the exit between Castle Dour and the Temple and you'll get your first sight of the Blue Palace. Along the way, be sure to stop outside the [[sr:Bards{{Lore CollegeLink|Bards College]]}}, a large building on your left marked by the Flame of Callisos burning beside the steps.
Named for a famous bard, it is said that as long as the flame burns, the college will stand.