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Aldera was the capital city of Alderaan. It was located near the Triplehorn mountains, nestled on an island at the center of a lake. In addition to being the planet's seat of power, Aldera was also an important center of culture and science, comprising the University of Alderaan, several musea and the famous cooking school of the Epicurium. However, it was destroyed in 0 BBY along with the rest of Alderaan, when the Empire saw an opportunity to break in its new superweapon, the first Death Star.


"The glittering capital city of Aldera sat on an island in the center of a beautiful lake."
Hari Seldona[2]

The gleaming Aldera

The city of Aldera was built on an island[8] with uneven slopes located in the middle of a lake. That lake was in fact a relatively fresh meteor crater—from a geological point of view, as most of Alderaan's ancient craters had been weathered away—which had broken through into the underground aquifers[2] around 30,500 BBY.[9] The resulting body of water was surrounded by a series of low foothill areas covered with woodlands and green fields.[10] One of the city's edges was bordered by the Triplehorn mountains,[3] the top of which was often shrouded in snow.[8] In the morning light, the waters of Aldera's lake shone a sparkling icy-blue.[10] Across the water from the city lay a vast wilderness that was quite close to Aldera, although not part of it. That zone of grasslands contained a small valley from which one could get a glimpse of the capital in the distance.[11]

Like the other few metropolitan areas of the planet, Aldera was designed in such way that the natural landscape was little affected. With its gleaming white, free-form buildings standing on the uneven slopes of the island, the skyline of Aldera created an artful bridge between the green fields and white clouds.[12] The climate around Aldera was usually temperate,[4] without excluding occasional light snow.[5]


A view on the Royal Palace's balcony

"Aldera housed the embassies of off-planet dignitaries, and was also the home of Senator Bail Organa. Princess Leia Organa spent many years of her childhood there."
―Hari Seldona[2]

Visitors to the city mostly arrived by air, unless they traversed the lake by boat.[2] Upon reaching Aldera, many outlanders were breathtaken at the white, flowing architecture of the buildings, many of them belonging to the planetary government.[10] The most majestic of Aldera's monuments was the Aldera Royal Palace, which housed Queen Breha Organa and her consort, Prince Bail Prestor Organa in the last decades of the Galactic Republic.[8] While the Palace's towers were high and occupied a wide stretch of ground, some of the buildings located west of them were tall enough to obstruct the view.[13]

In addition to being the royal seat of Alderaan, the capital city was also home to the main core of the most prestigious University of Alderaan[2] and the most high-tech Aldera Universal Medcenter.[6] On a more mundane level, the city also contained a Spacer Quarter—in which many bars and hotels could be found[6]—and a marketplace.[13] The planet's primary spaceport was also located in the outskirts of Aldera.[6] The spaceport's main docking facility was hosted in a cluster of hemispherical buildings.[14]


A Star Tours shuttle landing at Aldera

The city of Aldera, the ancient capital of Alderaan, dated back to the founding of many of the galaxy's oldest learning institutions.[2] The city was specifically built inside a meteor crater filled with water in order to minimize its impact on the planet's surface.[15] The University of Alderaan, established by the renowned teacher and philosopher Collus, was one of the first structures built on the island city—and one of the oldest and most widely revered universities in the galaxy.[2]

Although Aldera was perhaps best known for its university, many other prominent buildings housed the cultural and governmental facilities which Alderaan was so well known for. Over time, as powerful individuals seized on the University of Alderaan's importance, other teachers came to Alderaan to build their own schools in Aldera, adjacent to the original university. These institutions branched into disciplines including politics, mathematics, cultural pursuits, and the arts.[2]

Aldera housed the embassies of off-world dignitaries[2] and would eventually become the political heart of Alderaan. The Aldera Royal Palace was constructed in the planetary capital shortly before 719 BBY,[8] some two hundred years after the Ruusan Reformation.[16] Prior to this, at least until the Cold War of 3653 BBY, the Elysium had been the planet's political center.[17]

At some point between 1 and 0 BBY,[18] the Star Tours travel agency organized trips to Alderaan as part of their Star Tours Getaway Package. The company's StarSpeeder 1000 spacecrafts would notably bring their passengers to the capital city of Aldera. At that time, Alderaan was considered the safest planet in the galaxy.[19] However, the city was destroyed, along with the rest of Alderaan, by the Death Star in 0 BBY.[1]

Tens of thousands of Alderaanians had been off planet when it was blown up, allowing them to survive. Gradually, the disparate groups of survivors[13] ended up forming the Alderaan Alliance[20] and moved to New Alderaan. On their new world, the refugees built New Aldera, an exact replica of their lost capital.[21]

Behind the scenes[]

The city of Aldera was first designed by Ralph McQuarrie, who was the conceptual designer responsible for the look of the original trilogy of Star Wars.[2] The mountains surrounding Aldera in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith were modelled after a location in the Swiss Alps.[22]


A conceptual drawing of Aldera before its destruction.


Notes and references[]