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[Lore] Canterlot


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Canterlot - The Center of Splendor




“All roads lead to Canterlot,” or so the ancient saying goes. While the capital of Equestria may no longer be among the largest of cities, it remains one of the kingdom’s most important magical and cultural centers, and Canterlot’s central location ensures its importance as an economic hub even with the rise of powerhouses like Manehatten and Stalliongrad. Canterlot’s citizens proudly claim that as long as Princess Celestia reigns from her city, the Sun will always shine on the capital’s gleaming alabaster spires and the rest of Equestria.


Nestled on a mountain face, many of Canterlot’s medieval-styled townhouses and other buildings are cozily squished together to make the most efficient use of what little flat land is available. The most vital locations in the capital, including the Royal Castle and Canterlot University, make use of tall spires housing offices and meeting halls to also promote economy of space. In the newer potions close to the castle, the city’s liberal use of wide streets and spacious parks give the impression that Canterlot's a more open place than it actually is. In the older areas farther away from the cliff-side, the streets become narrower and windier, and the businesses and amenities found are more likely to serve the humble needs of local residents instead of those of tourists and the Equestrian elite.


Crowning the edge of the capital’s cliff-side is the magnificent Canterlot Castle from which the Royal Pony Sisters reign. Aside from its glamorous ball rooms, awe-inspiring throne room, and beautiful gardens, the Castle and adjacent spires house chambers where advisors, army officers, and other staff work tirelessly to help the Princesses manage their kingdom. Standing proudly at attention throughout the Castle are the Royal Guard; ponies clad in shining armor selected from the ranks of the Royal Equestrian Army. Not only do these stalwart ponies watch over the Castle, but they serve as Canterlot's ever-helpful police service.


If there is one other physical attribute that defines Canterlot, it would be the waterfalls that cascade from the mountainside city. Some water plummets down from the natural swift-flowing stream that doubles as a moat outside the sole gate into Canterlot; other falls are the product of water overflowing from artificial pools attached to the rocky cliff side. All the waterfalls combine to fill in a deep pool way down on the bottom, from which a perpetual sparkling mist emanates from. The outflow from this pool eventually drains into the Great Nimbusgait Lakes, but not before providing valuable irrigation for farms in between.


Thanks in no small part to the presence of the Princesses, a significant portion of Equestria's nobility and upper class live or do business in Canterlot. Posh residences line the streets adjacent to the Castle, intermixed with fabulous boutiques, renowned museums, fancy restaurants, and other establishments designed to cater to the refined tastes of society's elite. Anypony who strives to be somepony in the world of celebrity natural turn their heads towards Canterlot for all the glamour and sophistication the city symbolizes. To be invited to attend one of Canterlot's numerous high society functions, the Grand Galloping Gala being the most prestigious of them all, means to have hit the big time.


For ponies of the more scholarly persuasion, Canterlot is perhaps the greatest academic center in all of Equestria. Because of the city's long history as a unicorn-dominated settlement, it plays host to Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, an exclusive academy where promising foals bestowed with remarkable magic abilities can further develop their talents. Meanwhile, many older ponies on the cusp of adulthood yearn to learn at Canterlot University, home to some of the land's most prestigious research institutions. And for those who simply require an old book or two for study, Canterlot's numerous libraries and archives provide dedicated scholars with all the information about the known world that they'll ever need.


Naturally for a city as well-storied as Canterlot, the capital of ponydom possesses secrets of its own. Few who now live know that the mountain Canterlot stands on once contained vast crystal mines. Why these mines became abandoned and closed off from the outside world remains mostly a mystery, but in-the-know ponies willing to face whatever now lurks in the glittering darkness of the crystalline caverns may find lost treasures beyond imagination... and other unknown wonders as well.


Anypony who takes the time to explore the crown jewel of Equestria will find amazement in everything found. Canterlot is the place to go to for all manners of things; from popular tourist destinations and large events to niche shops and thriving nightlife scene. Unquestionably, the city lives up to all expectations.

~Hitchhiker's Guide to Equestria

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