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I can't imagine, how it could be possible for such a small island to support enough artists and stonecutters to build all these wonders.Arthur Denison

Waterfall City, often praised as the Jewel of the Polongo,[1] is set halfway down the Polongo River. The city is Dinotopia's western center of culture and learning, but has fallen a little from its glory since the trade routes to Chandara were closed. Waterfall City is always a mecca for the island's artists and craftsmen who come to take advantage of the library, Musicians' Inn, Concert Hall, and the city's many museums or galleries. The noise and the mist generated by the falls are so powerful that they're a constant presence in the city's atmosphere.[1]

During peak spring runoff, the total volume of water passing down the falls reaches 16,992 m3/sec (600,000 cfs), approximately four times that of the Niagara Falls.[1]



View of Waterfall City from above.

Excluding the waterfalls, and the great pyramids of the city, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, the most prominent feature of the city is the library. This colossal building, in the north of the city, holds thousands of scrolls in honeycomb shelves, and there are scroll reading machines for the dinosaurs; who didn't like turning pages.[2]

Another prominent structure is a great dome, the One-Earth Globe; a massive representation of Earth as it looked 120,000,000 years ago. Located in the south-east corner of the city, above a large spillway of the canal network, this dome houses the water powered helicoid geochronograph; the primary time-piece for Dinotopia.[1]

Due to the city's setting, water is a major part of daily life in Waterfall City. Canals, which resembled those of Venice, weave through the elaborately carved stone buildings. Many fountains are placed around the city, next to gardens, theaters, and observatories. At the peak of the great Pyramid of the Sun stands an enormous stone tablet with the Code of Dinotopia carved upon it.[3]

In the south-west corner of the city is the Aqua Stadium. Below this gigantic structure are dolphin caverns, which could be viewed through windows in the Aqua Stadium's lower levels.[1]


Waterfall City was founded sometime during or before the Age of Heroes roughly 4,000 years ago. Then known as Waterfall Fortress and constructed out of wood, this settlement served as a base of operations of the ancient tribal confederation Pelledrine during their war against the Empire of Poseidos.[4]

Over the millenia following the Age of Heroes, the wooden structure would be replaced by a more magnificent construction of stone. The oldest buildings still remaining in the city are the great twin pyramids, having been constructed in 862 AD.[1]

Over the course of its history, the somewhat violent falls near the city have caused incidents and disasters. The city experienced a devastating flood in 934 AD, prompting the construction of the Grand Promenade, and the famous Blue Mist Ballroom slumped into Cloudbottom Gorge in 1744 AD.[1]

As had been the custom for new arrivals, Arthur Denison and his son Will registered in Waterfall City on August 6, 1863, after they survived the wreck of the Venturer. The Denisons stayed in the city for nearly three years, while they learned about Dinotopian culture, language, and society. Arthur spent much of this time researching Dinotopia's history, or exploring new parts of the city. Some time after the spring of 1866, Nallab gave Arthur a studio overlooking the falls; close to the library.[5]

At the time, the Chief Librarian is Enit, while his assistant is Nallab and the Timekeeper is Malik.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  2. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, p. 74
  3. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, p. 77
  4. Dinotopia: First Flight: 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 98
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time