The Citadel is a massive space station historically located in the Serpent Nebula, believed to have been constructed by the Protheans at least 50,000 years ago. First discovered in the current era by asari explorers, the Citadel is now home to over 13 million sapients, representing the majority of starfaring races. The station houses the Citadel Council and embassies, making it the de facto political capital of the known galaxy.
During the final days of the Reaper War, it was moved to Earth by the Reapers and positioned in a stationary orbit over London. The Crucible ended the war, but the Citadel stayed over Earth. Nobody has found a way to move it and nobody really tried as there are far bigger problems to take care of. However, the Crucible was undocked and moved to a undisclosed location.
The controlled Reapers repaired the damaged station to a large degree before taking on the relays, making the Sol relay a central hub within the mass relay network.
The Citadel is composed of six primary structures: the Presidium (which includes the Citadel Tower) and the five Wards.
The Presidium is a ring 7.2 kilometers in diameter, habitable in its closed interior, home to the majority of political and diplomatic agencies, as well as the station's wealthiest residents and commercial facilities providing for them. The Citadel Tower, housing the Council itself, extends along the station's central axis, connecting at its base to the Presidium via a lateral crossover. The Presidium maintains an artificial 20-hour day-night cycle.
- Antares is a small restaurant run by humans but widely popular among turians because it serves surprisingly good dextro dishes along with human cuisine, integrated with asari and salarian elements.
- The Battle of the Citadel Memorial commemorates those of the Citadel Fleet and allied navies who gave their lives defending the Citadel during the recent geth attack.
- The Iolla Water Gardens is a Thessian meditative garden, comprised of a network of platforms and pathways arranged around water fountains and features. The Elcor Unity statue is nearby.
- The Presidium Museum of Culture showcases art and cultural artefacts donated by Council-aligned worlds.
- Serene Fountains is a spa known for its exclusive hiring practices and high prices.
The five Wards are arm-like structures, each 44.7 kilometers long, housing the majority of the station's residents and businesses. They attach at their bases to the Presidium ring, and are habitable on their inner surfaces which, although open to space, are protected by environmental fields (in addition, many sealed buildings rise past the 7 metre ceiling of the Wards' atmospheres). Due to not being enclosed, the Wards have no day or night.
One of the potential places of interest on Bachjret is "Tiny Terra", a sizeable human establishment dedicated to educating other species on the subject of different human cultures. It is an "edutainment" establishment, where one learns of different human cultural phenomena by participating in them: trying human cuisine (adapted for different species while retaining as much semblance to the original as possible), listening to human-made music of different cultures and epochs, and even learning human dances. Ironically, Terra Firma gatherings are common in the vicinity of such an alien-friendly human establishment, but there has not been a single notable incident to date.
Kithoi Ward, although broadly comparable to the other Wards, is often seen as a somewhat more prestigious location (although obviously less so than the Presidium). It is home to Palaven Gardens, inspired by the great parks on Palaven itself. There is a food market nearby, with many great eateries in proximity.
- The Authority is a nightclub and performance space catering to the BDSM community.
- On The Shoreline is a hanar restaurant, serving seafood prepared by highly-regarded hanar and drell chefs from Kahje, with live entertainment from hanar dancers (in aqariums) and bioluminescent folk singers.
- Galactic Goodies is an antiques shop owned by the volus merchant, Nol Borit. Located near the Edroki Plaza, the shop sells many collectibles from different cultures, including films, music, ceramics, art, video games, toys, appliances, decorations, jewelry and boasting a large collection of printed books.
- Citadel's Finest Chocolate Shoppe is a desert store in one of the less prosperous Aroch neighborhoods. Its storage room hides the entrance to a massive illegal weapons stash.
Tayseri Ward was once known for being a cultural and artistic epicenter. Devestated by the geth attack of 2183, the Ward was then known for its poor working class and immigrant population, who flooded the Ward looking to gain jobs in the reconstruction effort. Interspecies violence became rampant, caused by the competition for jobs and encoragement from organized criminal groups, which found profit in the atmosphere of hate and paranoia. Deflation of the credit and the galactic economic downturn hit Tayseri worst of all the Wards, worsening the already poor situation.
See, for example, the activities investigated by Spectre Mira D'Rana.
Many notable tourist and revenue generating locations, such as the Museum of Galactic History, Gaeron Botanical Gardens, and Tayseri Point, remained closed. The most famous of the locations on Tayseri Ward, Dilinaga Concert Hall, is still under repairs, with many of the hall's resident dramatic troupes, such as the Dillinaga Opera Company and the Tayseri Philharmonic, using the Auxua School of the Arts' auditorium. Other centers of art and drama have recently re-opened for performances, most notably the Ceylon Hall, and the annual Bliss Festival remained on Tayseri throughout the difficulties caused by the attack and reconstruction. The Ward is also notable for the recent increase of Systems Alliance presence, including a forward command center known as the Alliance Tower.
- The Anhedrax Center for Mental Health Studies is the largest mental health centre in Council Space, and the largest mental health research facility in the known galaxy.
- Central Tayseri University
- The Citadel Center for the Arts is community center that offers free art classes for children and rented studios for a small fee.
- Cosmo's is a restaurant with a primarily dextro menu, although a selection of levo dishes is available.
- The Dented Fringe is a sports bar, run by a turian couple and catering to a middle-of-the-road clientele; the decor is military-themed.
- Janirisia is an asari restaurant specializing in new-style Dakhur Thessian cuisine.
- Mornian's Curiosities is an antique store run by CDN member Callus.
- The Re'ha Auditorium is a recently-completed performance space, and home to the Tayseri classical orchestra.
- Saint John Paul the Great is a church of the human Catholic faith, which also serves as a shelter for homeless children.
- The Sniper's Touch is a licensed firing range with facilities for practicing with a variety of weapon types.
- The Thessian Baths is a recreational bath house, including the Thessian Baths Spa.
- The Titan Building is a skyscraper and surrounding complex that houses local Titan Corporation Headquarters. The atrium of the main building is open to the public and contains shops selling Titan products and several restaurants.
- Visions nightclub
- A Little Taste of Earth, a sushi bar also known for their authentic pizza.
- The Serpent Rising is a bar known as a favourite hang out of the few soldiers, mercenaries and bounty hunters that find themselves on the Citadel. Situated on one of the uppermost floors of a towerblock near the lip of the ward, the bar's long windows offered amazing views of the swirling nebula that gave it it's name.
Zakera Ward is dominated by volus, elcor and hanar interests, although the residential and commercial population is diverse outside these groups; recently a human commercial zone has been established in the Shin Akiba district.
- Aphin's Place is a bar that has recently opened on the 31st level, catering to all non-ammonia-based species. It is popular amongst salarians and some turians, though its acerbic owner is quick to kick out anyone attempting to incite a fight.
- The Free Flight Lounge is a bar popular among Alliance enlisted personnel.
- The Giza Bar is a popular bar run by an elcor called Giza. It is popular among middle class citizens and serves a variety of drinks and snacks from "more than 100 worlds"
- Jal Ma Eight is a salarian take-out/delivery restaurant, with a menu including salarian-inspired dishes tailored to other species' palettes.
- Mikaela's is a Terran restaurant specializing in seafood dishes prepared in the Mediterranean fashion.
- Mondragón is a Terran/Thessian fusion restaurant known for the quality of its imported Terran ingredients.
- A Taste of Kendra is a traditional Kendra Ocean asari restaurant.
- Tukasi is a krogan restaurant, known for its quality (and spicy) Tlacra-style dishes.
- The Zakera Muslim Community Center is overseen by Imam Karakurt Yigit.
- Friendship by Food is a restaurant featuring both levo and dextro chiralties.
As witnessed in the official Codex material.
The "undersides" of the Wards between the inhabited superstructures and impenetrable outer hull are called the Foundations. These dangerous areas are filled with life support systems and power plants. Officially, only the keepers are allowed in the Foundations. In reality, the Foundations are the slums of the Citadel, home to criminals, minorities, transients, and the occasional "stateless" exiles. Some stay in the Foundations of their own will. Others end up there when the opportunities they sought in the Citadel do not come.
The station's recycling systems are located in the Foundations. These manufacture a variety of artificial organic pastes that can be eaten for sustenance. They are free and nutritious but nearly tasteless and of unpleasant texture. Poorer Citadel residents quickly become adept at dressing up this bland fare with sauces and spices while imported foodstuffs are a popular luxury of the wealthy.