Canterlot is a city first featured in the series' premiere episode as the residence of Twilight Sparkle, where she studies under Princess Celestia. The city holds the royal castle, making it the capital of Equestria. It is also the venue of important cultural events like the Grand Galloping Gala. The name of the city is a portmanteau of "canter," a three-beat horse gait, and Camelot, a British kingdom from Arthurian legends.
Lauren Faust's inspiration for Canterlot, with its castle carved into the side of the mountain, was Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings. Ted Anderson and Agnes Garbowska's inspiration for ancient Canterlot was ancient Rome.
Depiction in the series
Geographical location and features
Canterlot is built into the side of a tall mountain that overlooks Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle and Spike travel the distance between the two locations in a short amount of time, riding in a flying chariot pulled by two Pegasus royal guards in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Princess Celestia travels in the same way in Swarm of the Century, and in Sweet and Elite, Rarity's friends manage to get from Ponyville to Canterlot within a day. In MMMystery on the Friendship Express, Pinkie Pie and her friends travel from Ponyville to Canterlot via train on an overnight trip. The spires of Canterlot, protruding from the mountain, have been shown to be visible from Ponyville.
Many high-society ponies in the show hail from Canterlot, including Photo Finish, Hoity Toity, Sapphire Shores, and Fancy Pants. In Sweet and Elite, the vast majority of its residents are unicorns. According to Spike in Winter Wrap Up, the residents use magic to change the seasons, rather than by hoof like in Ponyville.
The city is featured prominently in such Canterlot-centered episodes as Sweet and Elite, during Rarity's stay at Princess Celestia's castle, and in A Canterlot Wedding, when Twilight Sparkle's brother Shining Armor gets married to Princess Cadance. In the latter episode, the city briefly comes under siege by Queen Chrysalis and the changelings.
In the future seen during The Last Problem, Canterlot is shown to have been greatly expanded over the course of many Moons, with multiple new buildings added. It is also home to several species other than ponies.
The hills of Canterlot are mentioned in The Journal of the Two Sisters. The initial construction of Canterlot is featured in My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #3; the construction of the city of Canterlot is briefly shown on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #20 page 1 and briefly described in Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day and its Ruckus Reader later version Twilight Sparkle's Special Lesson. Ancient Canterlot is featured in My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #3, and Canterlot during Granny Smith's youth is briefly featured in a flashback in Family Appreciation Day.
Infrastructure and places
The city features numerous ivory towers with golden spires and many waterfalls and rivers running through it.
Twilight Sparkle's tower
Twilight Sparkle and Spike's original home is first featured in Friendship is Magic, part 1. It is a loft at the top of a tall tower where Twilight keeps multiple shelves worth of books and reference material as well as a large hourglass. In Amending Fences, Twilight gives Moon Dancer the key to the tower and allows her to come and go as she pleases.
Canterlot Castle is the palace where Princess Celestia and Princess Luna lived and ruled Equestria from, first featured in The Best Night Ever. It consists of at least the throne room, a large ballroom, a kitchen, a telescope observatory, and the Pony Princess Wedding Castle ceremonial hall. Starting with School Daze - Part 2, the throne room is redesigned so that now both Celestia and Luna have their own thrones, patterning after its design in My Little Pony The Movie.
In Sparkle's Seven, Star Swirl the Bearded shields the castle with shards from Queen Chrysalis' throne to prevent any and all magical incursion. Large fans are also installed on the outer upper levels, so as to repel any attempt by intruders to simply fly in.
Throughout the series, the castle has been frequently attacked by villains:
- In A Canterlot Wedding, Queen Chrysalis infiltrates the castle by capturing and impersonating Princess Cadance.
- In Twilight's Kingdom, Lord Tirek and Discord attack the castle, where Tirek breaks into the throne room and sends Celestia, Luna, and Cadance to Tartarus.
- In My Little Pony The Movie, the castle is taken over by the Storm King and heavily damaged by his Staff of Sacanas.
- In The Beginning of the End, King Sombra invades the castle and covers its interior with dark crystals.
- In The Summer Sun Setback, Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow infiltrate the castle and steal a book from the library's restricted section without anybody realizing.
- In The Ending of the End, the castle is almost entirely destroyed by Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow, who then use what's left as their base of operations.
Sculpture garden and hedge maze
The royal sculpture garden and hedge maze are featured in The Return of Harmony. The garden holds several statues depicting ponies in regal capes and Discord's stone prison. Cheerilee takes her class of foals on a field trip to the sculpture garden, and an argument between the Cutie Mark Crusaders helps Discord escape confinement. The sculpture garden and hedge maze are also featured in various merchandise and promotional material. In A Royal Problem, the hedge maze appears in a dream of Dr. Hooves.
Pony Princess Wedding Castle
The Pony Princess Wedding Castle is featured in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2 during Shining Armor and Princess Cadance's wedding, in Pony Wedding merchandise, in The Crystal Empire - Part 1, in The Crystal Empire - Part 2, in Magical Mystery Cure during Twilight Sparkle's princess coronation, in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1, in Princess Spike, in Horse Play, in The Beginning of the End - Part 1, in Sparkle's Seven, in Between Dark and Dawn, in The Summer Sun Setback, in The Ending of the End - Part 1, and in The Last Problem.
Canterlot Tower is first featured in The Return of Harmony Part 1 as the location where the Elements of Harmony are stored prior to Keep Calm and Flutter On. When Princess Celestia tasks the Mane Six with using the Elements on Discord, she uses her horn to unlock the tower and retrieve the Elements, but Discord has already stolen them. The tower is featured again in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2 when the Mane Six try to reach the Elements and use them on Queen Chrysalis and the changelings, but a large swarm of changelings blocks their path.
School for Gifted Unicorns
- Main article: School for Gifted Unicorns
Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns is first featured in a flashback in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, where Twilight Sparkle began her studies under Princess Celestia. Other notable students of the school include Sunset Shimmer, Trixie, Moon Dancer, Lemon Hearts, Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lyra Heartstrings. In Gameloft's mobile game, Sunset Shimmer, "Rotten Apple", and S06E08 Unnamed Unicorn Stallion #3 live in the Canterlot School for Unicorns.
Library of Magic
The Canterlot Library of Magic is first mentioned in Luna Eclipsed and physically featured in Amending Fences, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Forgotten Friendship, and The Point of No Return. According to Twilight in the former episode, Star Swirl the Bearded has a shelf in the library named after him. The library has been staffed by Issue 40 Unnamed Mare - Librarian, former head librarian Dusty Pages, Grossly Overdue Book Return Office for Ponies Who Should Know Better librarian First Folio, royal guard Flash Sentry, and Librarian Pony S09E05 Unnamed Unicorn Mare #1.
In My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Forgotten Friendship. Celestia and Luna aid Sunset Shimmer in finding out why her friends suddenly don't remember her by taking her and Twilight to the library's restricted section, an underground area containing ancient tomes which can only by accessed by the sisters themselves.
Canterlot's cloud stadium is featured in Sweet and Elite during the Wonderbolts Derby, in Rarity Investigates!, and in Parental Glideance. It is a stadium consisting of three sections of bleachers and a private seating box that overlook a steep cliff and a ring of clouds shaped like a racing track.
The Canterlot train station is first featured in Hearth's Warming Eve; the Mane Six take the Friendship Express train to participate in Canterlot's Hearth's Warming Eve pageant. The station is also featured in The Last Roundup, It's About Time, MMMystery on the Friendship Express, A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, promotional material, The Crystal Empire - Part 1, Magical Mystery Cure,[specify] Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1, Canterlot Boutique, and the My Little Pony Holiday Special.
The train station's coffee stand is introduced in the My Little Pony Holiday Special. It is run by Cuppa Joe.
The Canterlot Theater is featured in Hearth's Warming Eve and serves as the venue for Canterlot's Hearth's Warming Eve pageant. The theater is also featured in Rarity Investigates!
The Canterlot Archives are featured in It's About Time; Twilight is first told about the Archives by her future self. Near the end of the episode, Twilight, Pinkie Pie, and Spike sneak into the Archives' Star Swirl the Bearded Wing, where Twilight uses a time travel spell to go back in time and deliver a message to her past self. The Archives also appear in The Summer Sun Setback, where Lord Tirek, Queen Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow infiltrate it and steal a book containing information on Grogar's Bewitching Bell.
Shining Armor's house
Shining Armor's house/living quarters are briefly featured in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1 when Twilight visits him on the evening before his wedding to Princess Cadance. It is furnished with various royal guard regalia, including a coat of arms and a suit of pony armor.
In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #94. Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich explore a cavern underneath Canterlot (created by a sinkhole opening up). The cave contains Muffleta Moss, which Cheese accidentally brings to the surface, resulting in all of Canterlot falling silent.
In A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, there is revealed to be an extensive cave system underneath Canterlot that was mined for its precious gems by greedy unicorns until it was exhausted, sealed up, and forgotten, according to Queen Chrysalis. The cave system has a mine-cart and railway running through it. Chrysalis uses the caves to imprison Twilight and Cadance, but they eventually escape. The caves are also featured in promotional material and on Trixie and the Razzle-Dazzle Ruse's cover. The caves appear again in The Ending of the End - Part 2, used by Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow to hold Twilight's friends prisoner before they are freed.
In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #17, the Mane Six are led by Princess Luna to an intricate cave system inside the mountain that Canterlot is built on. The caves contain Star Swirl the Bearded's personal library and large collection of magical artifacts.
Canterlot Historical Society
Mentioned in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #26,[dubious – discuss] Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Forgotten Books of Autumn, The Mean 6, and Gameloft's mobile game. In High Plains Ponies, Celestia(-and-Luna)-notarized Historical Society paperwork declares Rancho Bronco a historic site for Canter Creek; in Twilight Sparkle and the Forgotten Books of Autumn, Moon Dancer's father is stated to have worked for the Canterlot Historical Society; in The Mean 6 and the mobile game, Queen Chrysalis disguises herself as a Canterlot Historical Society photographer with the supposed task of documenting the School of Friendship teachers' friendship work.
Shops and businesses
Best of the Best Boutique
Joe's donut shop
Joe's donut shop is first featured at the end of The Best Night Ever. Spike, unable to enjoy the Grand Galloping Gala with his friends, drowns his sorrows in donuts and hot chocolate before the Mane Six arrive. In Amending Fences, Twilight, Minuette, Lemon Hearts, and Twinkleshine share sweets together at the donut shop. In The Ending of the End - Part 2, Twilight and her friends visit the donut shop after Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow are defeated.
Cinnamon Chai's Tea and Cake Shop
A Canterlot outdoor café is first featured in Sweet and Elite when Rarity has lunch with her cat Opalescence. The same café appears in A Friend in Deed during a flashback, in It's About Time, in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, in The Crystal Empire - Part 1 during The Failure Song, in One Bad Apple during Babs Seed, in Magical Mystery Cure during Life in Equestria, in My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #3 during The Trials of Hayseed Turnip Truck, in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1, in Princess Spike while Spike talks with "Frazzle Rock" of the Grand Equestria Pony Summit delegates, in Amending Fences with Café Hay menus, in Rarity Investigates! wherein its building is identified as Cinnamon Chai's Tea and Cake Shop, and in Spice Up Your Life; its shaded tables also appear in Hearts and Hooves Day at an outdoor Ponyville location during The Perfect Stallion. The Tea and Cake Shop is owned and managed by Cinnamon Chai and has had a window of its cleaned by Hayseed Turnip Truck, and its main attraction is a chocolate cherry cake with custard filling and buttercream frosting rosettes; the outdoor café has been staffed by "Earl Grey", "Sir Pony Moore", and Savoir Fare.
An art gallery owned by Silver Frames is briefly featured in Sweet and Elite during Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know). At Silver Frames' request, Rarity attends the gallery opening and brings it a lot of attention. The art gallery is also featured in My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #4 during Princess Celestia's Extreme Art Contest.
An auction house owned by Golden Gavel is briefly featured in Sweet and Elite during Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know). At Golden Gavel's request, Rarity attends a charity auction and brings it a lot of attention.
At the beginning of Magic Duel, Trixie gallops through an alley and enters a curio shop, where she persuades the shopkeeper to sell her the Alicorn Amulet for a sack of bits. This location is unnamed in the show, but the filename of a piece of production art posted online prior to the episode's airing identifies it as Canterlot, and one of the show's layout artists who worked on the episode recalls the script identifying it as Canterlot.
House of Enchanted Comics
An unnamed restaurant is featured in Amending Fences when Twilight, Spike, Moon Dancer, Minuette, Lemon Hearts, and Twinkleshine have dinner together. Starlight Glimmer also makes a brief appearance, her face hidden behind a menu.
Canterlot Carousel, the Canterlot branch of Rarity's Carousel Boutique, is first featured in Canterlot Boutique. Rarity debuts her "Royal Regalia" line of dresses here and hires Sassy Saddles to serve as the store's manager. The boutique is also featured in Rarity Investigates! and Forever Filly.
Restaurant Row is a street in Canterlot featured in Spice Up Your Life. It is made up of numerous restaurants, most of which have been rated by Zesty Gourmand's three-hoof rating system, and described by Rarity as "the absolute best place for fine dining in all of Equestria". Restaurants located on this street include The Smoked Oat and The Bake Stop.
The Tasty Treat
The Tasty Treat is an initially-failing Canterlot restaurant featured in Spice Up Your Life. It is owned by Coriander Cumin and Saffron Masala and serves very exotic foods. When Rarity and Pinkie Pie are summoned by the Cutie Map to solve a friendship problem, The Tasty Treat is briefly retooled to serve the same food as other restaurants on Restaurant Row, but Coriander and Saffron return it to its original state at the end of the episode. It is also featured in The Point of No Return.
Canterlot's most prominent social event is the Grand Galloping Gala, a formal royal ball held in Canterlot Castle and attended only by select ponies, which is mentioned in The Ticket Master and Suited For Success and featured in The Best Night Ever and Make New Friends but Keep Discord.
Another high society event is the Canterlot Garden Party, also held on the castle grounds. Featured in Sweet and Elite, it is a very exclusive event that, according to Rarity, is second to only the Grand Galloping Gala. In Hearth's Warming Eve, a pageant depicting the founding of Equestria is put on by the Mane Six. In the season four premiere, Canterlot holds a new Summer Sun Celebration, stated to be the first such event since the one in Ponyville in the season one premiere. In The Summer Sun Setback, the last Summer Sun Celebration is held, whereupon Twilight creates a new event to replace it, the "Festival of the Two Sisters". The Canterlot Magic Fair is held in the Signature My Little Pony magazine issue 69 comic Daring friends and the missing story!
Other various events held in Canterlot include the Wonderbolts Derby in Sweet and Elite, the Equestria Rodeo in The Last Roundup, the National Dessert Competition in MMMystery on the Friendship Express, the Grand Equestria Pony Summit in Princess Spike, and the Friendship Festival in My Little Pony The Movie.
In Family Appreciation Day, Granny Smith mentions "all the tea in Canterlot".
In Canterlot Boutique, Rarity is featured on the front cover of Cosmare magazine.
Depiction in Equestria Girls
In My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games, some Canterlot buildings appear in a giant hole in the ground caused by Midnight Sparkle.
Depiction in My Little Pony The Movie
In My Little Pony The Movie, the first Friendship Festival is held in Canterlot, and the city comes under attack by the Storm King's forces. After Twilight and her friends defeat the Storm King, she uses the Staff of Sacanas to repair the damage done to the city, and the Festival resumes. In the film, Canterlot is given somewhat of a redesign and expansion, especially the area surrounding the castle.
My Little Pony Animated volume 1, My Little Pony: The Magic Begins, retells the events of Friendship is Magic, part 1 and Friendship is Magic, part 2. Twilight Sparkle is shown to live in a dormitory "high atop the Centerlot[sic] observatory" before she moves to Ponyville.
Dark magic library
Elite Equine Spa
Tealove's Tea Room
A school called Canterlot Academy is introduced in the story arc Neigh Anything. It appears to be the Equestrian counterpart of Canterlot High, as it shares the human high school's Fall Formal event.
Canterlot's Wonderous Bolts of Fabric
A boutique called Canterlot's Wonderous[sic] Bolts of Fabric is featured in My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #19. It is run by Friends Forever 19 Unnamed Mare - Thread and Needle.
The Canterlot Museum
Canterlot Institute of Creature Research
Appears in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #93. It is an institute where various creatures are housed for conservation and study. Scootaloo is brought here by her parents, and interacts with many of the creatures in residence.
Canterlot is featured in the first arc of the My Little Pony (2022 comics) series, set after the events of My Little Pony: A New Generation. After one of the Unity Crystals is stolen, Sunny Starscout and her friends follow the thief's trail to Canterlot. The former capital of Equestria is now in ruins, with an aged Discord and his animal companions as its only inhabitants left.
The Adventures in Canterlot storybook, Festival of Friendship, features a competition in Canterlot.[specify]
According to the My Little Pony The Movie prequel chapter book, The Stormy Road to Canterlot, the Storm King's second-in-command, Tempest Shadow, originally lived near Canterlot. It is also featured in Beyond Equestria: Fluttershy Balances the Scales, with Tempest taking up residence in the city and visiting various locations with the Mane Six.
Canterlot is featured in the online Flash game Castle Creator.
Canterlot: "CANTERLOT is the royal city in EQUESTRIA and home to PRINCESS CELESTIA. The princess lives in a magical castle. Every pony dreams of visiting CANTERLOT!"
Pony Princess Wedding Castle: "PRINCESS CADANCE and SHINING ARMOR are getting married at the castle! Ponies from all over EQUESTRIA can't wait to go to the royal wedding!"
Midnight in Canterlot Pony Collection: "At the stroke of midnight, PRINCESS LUNA uses a special spell to turn into NIGHTMARE MOON." "This time, she just wants to celebrate the magic of the stars with all of her friends in CANTERLOT!"
Canterlot Castle: "It’s a castle fit for a princess! Create mystical, royal adventures in the incredible three-story my little pony canterlot castle Playset. Venture up the grand staircase leading to a beautiful throne that can slide up and down between floors. Fans can instantly become a princess by wearing the detachable tiara atop of the castle. Playset includes a special edition PRINCESS CELESTIA pony figure, SPIKE THE DRAGON figure, tiara and themed accessories."
Pinkie Pie Donut Shop: "She throws a party at the donut shop!"
Canterlot & Seaquestria Castle: "[...] Fans can recreate adventures from the movie with QUEEN NOVO and SPIKE the Pufferfish figures, and this 2-worlds-in-1, 29-inch playset. Place the figures on the slide or in the bubble-shaped elevator and have them ride from Canterlot down to the kingdom of Seaquestria or on the dance floor and spin the light up tower. [...] The set includes 30+ accessories for bedtime, beach time, tea time, and more!"
Canterlot Castle: "The Friendship Festival is filled with friends and excitement! Kids can imagine celebrating the fabulousness of friendship by bringing their pony friends together at the CANTERLOT CASTLE playset! The playset includes 3-inch PRINCESS CELESTIA and STORM KING figures, and 13 accessories to help kids act out their favorite Canterlot stories and Grand Galloping Gala scenes."
A poster which features an official map of Equestria was released on August 3, 2012. This places Canterlot roughly in the center of Equestria and the hub of the train network, which goes under the mountain. Two mountain ranges are placed next to it, the Unicorn Range to the west and the Foal Mountains to the east.
- Shown to live in Canterlot in the future in The Last Problem.
- Lauren Faust (2010-11-23). Comment on fyre-flye's profile. DeviantArt.
- Ted Anderson and Agnes Garbowska, The Creative Team Behind FIENDship is Magic: SIRENS, Talk Ponies of the Deep. IDW Publishing (2015-03-24). Retrieved on 2015 April 16.
- Lauren Faust (2013-03-15). Lauren Faust on Twitter: "Canterlot was originally Canterbury. Canterlot (and Cloudsdale) were names suggested by Craig McCracken. #MLPtrivia". Twitter. Retrieved on 2013 March 15.
- canterlot alley.jpg. Retrieved on 2012 December 4.
- In Topic: S3, Ep 5 Magic Duel. The Allspark Forums (2012-12-01). Retrieved on 2012 December 2. Archived locally.
- MLP Comic - English. Imgur (2017-03-23). Retrieved on 2017 May 27.
- Christie Damato (2015-02-07). my little pony 2015 product descriptions. Retrieved on 2015 April 9.
- Christie Damato (2017-02-17). my little pony 2017 product descriptions. Retrieved on 2017 June 9.
- "Selbach, Sarah" (2017-02-19). my little pony friendship is magic collection 2017 product descriptions. Retrieved on 2017 June 9.
- Official Map and Season 2 Cast Picture Show Up. Equestria Daily (2012-08-03). Retrieved on 2012 August 3.