The Citadel is a complex of buildings in Oldtown that serves as the central home to the order of the maesters. The name is also employed to refer to order of maesters as an institution, or the higher placed members. At the Citadel, the residing archmaesters teach and train new students, and convene in the Conclave. The Citadel is funded by taxes from Oldtown and payments from lords for the service of maesters.
- See also: Images of the Citadel
The Citadel lies on the Honeywine, where its towers and domes are connected with arching stone bridges. Houses and stalls sit on the bridges. The gates are flanked by a pair of tall green sphinxes with the bodies of lions, the wings of eagles and the tails of serpents. One has the face of a man, the other a woman.
Just inside the gates of the Citadel lies the Scribe's Hearth. Here, the citizens of Oldtown come to hire scribes, usually acolytes, to write and read letters for them. The scribes wait in open stalls for their custom. Other stalls situated at the Scribe's Hearth include those where books are bought and sold. Others offer maps.
Outside the Seneschal's Court lies where acolytes and novices are punished for minor crimes, such as petty thievery. Inside the doors is a hall with a stone floor and high, arched windows. At the far end of the hall there is a raised dais where a gatekeeper greets all those who wish to make an appointment to see the Seneschal.
Isle of Ravens
The Isle of Ravens is linked to the eastern bank of the Honeywine by a weathered wooden drawbridge. On the island is located the Ravenry, the oldest building of the Citadel. The walls of the Ravenry are covered in moss and vines and within its yard sits a weirwood tree on which the ravens like to perch. The white raven rookery is located in the west tower.
The origin of the Citadel is disputed, but House Hightower is generally considered to have played an integral role in its foundation. Most accounts on the Citadel's origins credit its foundation to Prince Peremore the Twisted, the second son of King Uthor of the High Tower. The curious Peremore invited numerous scholars, including wise men, teachers, priests, healers, singers, wizards, alchemists, and sorcerors, to Oldtown. After Peremore's death, his brother, King Urrigon, granted land alongside the Honeywine to "Peremore's pets", who developed the tract into the maesters' Citadel. House Hightower continues to be a strong patron of learning to this very day.
A Feast for Crows
The healers of the Citadel are the best in the Seven Kingdoms.
There are so many books at the Citadel that no man can hope to read them all.
– Jon Snow
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- So Spake Martin: ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)
- A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.