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We arrived here in '55. Established ourselves in the Citadel within the first few months. The Elder has kept us busy since then.Scribe Rothchild

The Citadel, sometimes referred to as the DC Bunker,[1] is the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Steel in the Capital Wasteland. It is located on the west end of the Key Bridge, northeast of Arlington Library.


The Brotherhood of Steel arrived in the area in 2255 and established their headquarters at the Citadel within the first few months.[2][3] Within the building, they discovered a pre-War robotic super weapon named Liberty Prime, which they began to repair.

From this location, the Brotherhood searched for advanced technology hidden in the capital's ruins.[4] The Citadel's construction was led by Scribe Bowditch. The new gate, leading directly into the Bailey, was built into the destroyed corner, with a crane-operated solid metal gate barring the entrance.[5]



It only has a single entrance, a large metal gate usually guarded by multiple paladins, and one Sentry Bot. (After the water purifier is completed and operational, these guards no longer appear.) A small corridor leads from the main gate to a door that provides access to the inner bailey.

The inside is inaccessible until the quest The Waters of Life is completed. Entry is scripted as part of the completion of this quest. Before then, the gate guard Paladin Bael will gruffly deny entry.


Citadel courtyard.jpg
Main article: Citadel bailey

The fairly large bailey serves as a training and sparring area. Under the command of Paladin Gunny, new recruits practice various skills from unarmed combat to firearm usage. The bailey contains shooting ranges and other installations for combat practice. A large hatch in the middle of the courtyard connects to the laboratory, although it cannot be used as an entrance by the player character. The laboratory and A ring, sections of the buildings which surround the yard, can be accessed through doors opposite and next to the main entrance. There are several beds here for the player character and initiates to use.

Citadel – A Ring

Main article: Citadel A ring

The A Ring is a small sector within the Citadel, which can be accessed directly from the bailey. The entrance is on the right upon entering the Citadel.

The A Ring contains the Lyons' Den, the Great Hall, the Library, and entrances to B Ring as well as the Citadel laboratory. The Lyons' Den is the quarters of Lyons' Pride while the Great Hall serves as a briefing room for high-ranking members and the Pride. This is where the Pride gathers and waits for new action orders.

In the library, the Lone Wanderer can find the Vault-Tec terminal they need to consult as part of Picking Up the Trail. Another terminal reveals some background information on the Maxson family and various pieces of information about the history of the Brotherhood. Another terminal contains information on a UFO that crashed shortly before the war and a plan to send mutant rodents to weaken China.

Citadel – B Ring

Main article: Citadel B ring

The B Ring is another section within the Citadel which can only be reached from the A Ring via two doors in the back. It consists mostly of sleeping quarters for all Brotherhood of Steel members as well as a medical bay and the private quarters of Owyn Lyons and Arthur Maxson. Lyons' unique laser pistol is in his safe in his private quarters.

Squire Maxson's room contains a hackable terminal in which, among various children's stories and other personal entries, one can find a reference to a Guns and Bullets magazine under the bed in the Lyons' Den (A Ring).

The medical bay is home to Sawbones, a unique Mister Gutsy robot who is the doctor of the Citadel, which Knight Artemis finds "creepy."

Citadel – Laboratory

Main article: Citadel laboratory

The laboratory is the third sector of the Citadel, connected to both the bailey and the A Ring. It spans two levels and consists of the main working area, the armory, and sleeping quarters for the scribes. Various terminals with technical background information on weaponry are scattered all over the place.

The lab is naturally the working place for most of the scribes, save those of the Order of the Quill. While they are conducting research on various fields such as threat assessment, weaponry, and defensive technologies, their main focus is the work on Liberty Prime, a gargantuan pre-War robot which was the main reason the Citadel base was established.

Scribe Rothchild, who is part of various main quests, is usually to be found in the area just in front of the robot, on the bottom level. In the vicinity of the robot dock, there's also a terminal with progress information on the work on Liberty Prime which allows one to run a soundcheck.

On the wall at the bottom level, there is a digital map display from which the Lone Wanderer can extrapolate the location of the Vault-Tec vaults in the Capital Wasteland if they have not already found them. After Scribe Rothchild has used it to show the location of Vault 87, the map markers will automatically be added to the Lone Wanderer's Pip-Boy 3000.

The armory is located in an extra room on the bottom level and is run by Knight Captain Durga. She will trade with the Lone Wanderer if they have Elder Lyons' permission. Inside the laboratory on the same floor entered from, there is a room to the east. The possible companion Star Paladin Cross is located in that room, along with a set of power armor in poor condition.

Citadel armory

Citadel armory.jpg

If the Lone Wanderer chooses to destroy the Citadel in Who Dares Wins, they will find a door leading to the armory within the crater and one on the far side of the circular path around the crater. This section is not to be confused with the regular armory located in the laboratory.

Within this armory, there is a terminal describing several "incident reports" and a wall safe (unlockable through the terminal) containing Callahan's Magnum.


¹After the quest Death From Above


  • The three personal logs of Elder Lyons: One in the Citadel lab, the other two in his room.
  • A Duck and Cover! book in a crate in one of the stalls in the bathroom of the Citadel lab.
  • A Guns and Bullets book under the rightmost bed in A ring's "The Den" area.
  • Smuggler's End, Elder Lyons's unique Laser Pistol, can be found in his safe in B ring's "The Solar" area. A Lockpick skill of 100 is required to open the safe. Occasionally, it may be taken from the safe by non-player characters, in which case it must be either pickpocketed normally or reverse pickpocketed.
  • Two Tesla Cannons in the Citadel lab as well as in the armory. Broken Steel
  • Callahan's Magnum in a safe in the Citadel armory. Broken Steel
  • Three Mini Nukes in the Citadel armory. Broken Steel
  • 72 Alien Power Cells in the Citadel armory. Broken Steel
  • Hundreds of bottles of Aqua Pura in the courtyard and many other areas. Broken Steel
  • Elder Lyons' Robe - Worn by Elder Lyons and can only be obtained through reverse pickpocketing.

Related quests


  • With the Broken Steel add-on, the Citadel can be targeted by the orbital missile platform controlled by the terminal in the Adams Air Force Base at the end of the quest Who Dares Wins. This destroys the Citadel, revealing some helpful supplies beneath the ruins.
  • With the Broken Steel add-on, a Super Mutant Overlord will spawn by the south side of the Citadel, accompanied by other assorted mutants. Two Brotherhood paladins will also spawn with them in the sniper nests.
  • After getting special permission from Elder Lyons, the Lone Wanderer can receive Power Armor Training by talking to Paladin Gunny.
  • The Brotherhood will not be hostile toward Fawkes. They will attack him if the player character fires him in their vicinity.
  • In the courtyard's ring area, where two initiates may be fighting, one can stand in the middle of them and be hit by their punches with no ill effects, as the punches are scripted to deal 0 damage.
  • If the Citadel is viewed from the outside, there is a tall construction crane visible; however, with the exception of the mission Take it Back!, there is no construction crane if viewed from the bailey.
  • After completing Who Dares Wins, only one of the initiates in the ring area will be visible. The other one will be walking towards it holding a grenade.
  • Other than Lyons' Pride, any inhabitant of the Citadel in power armor will dress down to basic wasteland outfits to sleep; their power armor will not, however, be in their inventories available to take and nor will their basic clothing when they are in full armor.
  • In Fallout 4, Paladin Danse compares the Cambridge Police Station to the Citadel back in the Capital Wasteland.[6] He will also shout "Remember the Citadel!" during combat.[7]
  • The Pentagon is mentioned in Fallout 76.[8]


The Citadel appears in Fallout 3 and is mentioned in Fallout 4 and in Fallout 76, introduced in the Wastelanders update.

Behind the scenes


  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 There are at least two Brotherhood of Steel initiates using the firing range, and one is firing a Laser Rifle. Nobody will become hostile if one shoots the laser rifle out of his hands, and he will start throwing Frag Grenades at the target. Many of his throws will either be off-target or ricochet in various directions, causing numerous casualties among the nearby Brotherhood of Steel. When attempting this by using V.A.T.S., it is possible that if targeting the "weapon" too many times, the initiate will take out a grenade almost instantaneously after the rifle is shot. If this happens, one may accidentally shoot the grenade and kill the initiate and anybody close.
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The radio in the bailey will continue to play GNR as if Three Dog is still alive after one has killed him.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible to gain access to the Citadel as early as level 2 through a nearby hole north of the Citadel, atop a pile of rubble. One can then speak to Paladin Gunny and receive Power Armor Training.
    • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Utilizing this same method to access the Citadel, and then reading the Vault-Tec Terminal's entry on Vault 87 will prematurely trigger Picking Up the Trail, bypassing most of the questline and allowing one to potentially finish the main quest without even entering Vault 112, as well as canceling out most of the Enclave's invasion of the Capital Wasteland (Enclave encampments do not appear unless The Waters of Life is finished, though troops still appear at Vault 87, Raven Rock, etc.). Characters will also speak as though James was dead, even if the relevant stage of The Waters of Life has not been reached, and Madison Li and her colleagues will speak as though they were already at the Citadel, even if they have not departed from Rivet City. Also, the option to fast-travel to the Jefferson Memorial will still be available, as this also only becomes disabled by completing The Waters of Life.
However, the above glitch will have to be utilized again to complete The American Dream, as the Citadel's entrance will still be sealed shut, though it will open for Lyons' Pride during Take it Back!. This may also lead to complications with The Waters of Life and Trouble on the Homefront depending on when the glitch is executed.
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 It is possible for Angela Staley to spawn outside the Citadel upon fast traveling. She is capable of all her dialogue options as if she was in Rivet City. She immediately begins walking back to Rivet City, but can be spoken to.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 At the firing range, the Brotherhood of Steel initiate using a laser rifle will shoot through the wall every time he shoots.
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 If, when the Citadel gate first opens, the player character walks against the door until they can get through, then open the door before the gate finishes opening, One cannot gain bad karma and can take anything without anybody considering it stealing, nor will anyone turn hostile. This glitch never goes away and the game and story can continue as normal.



  1. Scribe Jameson's report to Elder Lyons
  2. Lone Wanderer: "What about the Brotherhood's history in this area?"
    Scribe Jameson: "We first arrived in the Capital Wasteland in 2255. In those first couple of years, we discovered the Citadel, Super Mutants, and Project Purity! Ah, the purifier. What an undertaking. The work your father and his team did was... amazing. The Brotherhood helped protect them, you know. At least for a little while. But we were stretched thin as it was, even back then. We had to pull our forces out. When we did, the place was overrun. I imagine that's when your father left. I... I'm sorry, I wish things had turned out differently."
    (Elizabeth Jameson's dialogue)
  3. Scribe Rothchild: "We arrived here in '55. Established ourselves in the Citadel within the first few months. The Elder has kept us busy since then."
  4. Sole Survivor: "Why establish an outpost at the police station?"
    Danse: "Given the nature of the facility, we felt it would be tactically advantageous to search it for weapons and ammunition. The radio tower on the roof was an unexpected boon, but it obviously has its shortcomings that need to be rectified. It might not be as imposing as the Citadel back in the Capital Wasteland, but it suits our purposes. That's all I'm willing to divulge at this point. Are you ready to proceed with the mission?"
    (Danse's dialogue)
  5. Lone Wanderer: "Which Order do you serve, Squire Bowditch?"
    Scribe Bowditch: "I am Proctor of the Order of the Shield. I oversee the others in my Order, and make sure our defenses are up to snuff. Do you know how long it took to fortify these ruins? From the husk of the Pentagon I carved a grand Citadel! No easy task, my friend! Ah, but that was yesterday, when all we had to worry about was those damn Super Mutants. The Enclave, now... That's a different problem altogether..."
    (Scribe Bowditch's dialogue)
  6. Danse: "Given the nature of the facility, we felt it would be tactically advantageous to search it for weapons and ammunition. The radio tower on the roof was an unexpected boon, but it obviously has its shortcomings that need to be rectified. It might not be as imposing as the Citadel back in the Capital Wasteland, but it suits our purposes. That's all I'm willing to divulge at this point. Are you ready to proceed with the mission?"
    (Danse's dialogue)
  7. Danse: "Remember the Citadel!"
    (Danse's dialogue)
  8. Vault Dweller: "Our Overseer was supposed to secure Appalachia's nuclear missile silos."
    Oliver Fields: "That sounds in line with Vault-Tec's M.O.! I'm sure they didn't bother checking if that was okay with the Pentagon."
    (Oliver Fields' dialogue)
  9. DLC02testText terminal entries; Chinese terminal, Decrypted/Transcribed Volume 99x17x320