Caras Galadhon (pronounced /ˈkaras ˈgalaðon/) was the chief city of Lothlórien, at the center of the whole woodland.
Caras Galadhon was circular in shape and about three thousand feet from east to west. It was surrounded by a wall of green earth and a deep fosse, or moat. On the western border, a long stone road outside the fosse ran for many dozens of miles also surrounded the city. The city could be accessed through a set of great gates which faced southwest.
The city was a host of Mallorn trees where the Elves lived in flets atop the trees. Located in the city's center, atop the largest Mallorn in the city, was the flet of Celeborn and Galadriel and the Chamber of Celeborn.
The building of the city was probably started by the Silvan-speaking Nandor Elves who first settled the forest area of Lórien during the Time of the Trees under the light of stars, and was no doubt completed by the city's later Sindarin lords. No doubt beautiful during the days of Amdír and his son Amroth, it was their successors Celeborn and his wife Galadriel that made the city into a blissful but isolated Elven haven.
During the events of the War of the Ring, the Fellowship of the Ring was brought through Lórien to Caras Galadhon, and there met the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim. Around the time of the siege of Minas Tirith Lórien was besieged itself by Dol Guldur, three times.
During the Fourth Age, after Galadriel had left Lórien, Caras Galadhon was ruled by a lonely Celeborn as capital of a Lórien which now spanned both sides of the river Anduin. However, not long after Celeborn himself departed to live in Rivendell and the city came to be deserted. It is unclear just how this came about since most of Lórien's people were Silvan Elves and, presumably, not necessarily inclined to leave Middle-earth so soon after Sauron's fall; there are different references to the Fate of the Elves of Middle-earth scattered throughout Tolkien's published works. Caras Galadhon is called a "great city" in The Lord of the Rings, and the impression is that its population numbered in the thousands. However, the "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" in Appendix A depicts Caras Galadhon as wholly abandoned by the time of Aragorn II Elessar's death.
The name Caras Galadhon means "Fortress of Trees": from the Silvan caras ("fortress") and galadhon ("of trees"). It may also be translated as "Fortress of Galadhon". Galadhon may be referred to Celeborn's father, Galadhon. In the First Edition of The Lord of the Rings, Caras Galadhon was spelled as Caras Galadon.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Amharic||ጫራስ ጛላድሆን ?|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Карас Галадhон|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Карас Галадон|
|Kazakh||Карас Галадһон (Cyrillic) Karas Galadhon (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Карас Галадhон|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Карас Галадхон|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Карас Галадон|
|Serbian||Карас Галадон (Cyrillic) Karas Galadon (Latin)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Карас Галадон|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Карас Галадоне|
|Uzbek||Карас Галадҳон (Cyrillic) Karas Galadhon (Latin)|
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "The Fourth Age"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "Lothlórien"
- The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VI: "Lothlorien"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (v): "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"