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], was set halfway down the Polongo River. The city was Dinotopia's western center of culture and learning, and has fallen a little from its glory since the trade routes to Chandara were closed. Waterfall City was always a mecca for the island's artists and craftsmen who came to take advantage of the library, the Musicians' Inn, the Concert Hall, and the city's many museums and galleries. The noise and the mist generated by the falls are so powerful that they were a constant presence in the city's atmosphere.[2]

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.[3]



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 was the library. This colossal building, in the north of the city, held thousands of scrolls in honeycomb shelves, and there were scroll reading machines for the dinosaurs; who didn't like turning pages.[4]

Another prominent structure was 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 housed the water powered helicoid geochronograph; the primary time-piece for Dinotopia.[5]

Due to the city's setting, water was a big part of daily life in Waterfall City. Canals, that resembled those of Venice, Italy, weaved through the elaborately carved stone buildings. Many fountains were placed around the city, there were gardens, theaters and observatories. At the peak of the great Pyramid of the Sun stood an enormous stone tablet with the Code of Dinotopia carved upon it.[6]

In the south-west corner of the city stood the Aqua Stadium. Below this gigantic structure, were dolphin caverns which could be viewed through windows in the Aqua Stadium's lower levels.[7]


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, the settlement served as a base of operations of the ancient tribal confederation Pelledrine during the war against the Empire of Poseidos.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

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 spring 1866, Nallab gave Arthur a studio overlooking the falls; close to the library.[11]

At the time, the Chief Librarian was Enit, his assistant was Nallab and the Timekeeper was Malik.[12]


  1. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  2. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  3. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  4. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, p. 74
  5. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  6. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, p. 77
  7. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  8. Dinotopia: First Flight: 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 98
  9. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  10. Insider's Guide to Waterfall City
  11. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time
  12. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time