The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Pentagon, D.C. Bunker[1]
Fo3 Citadel Front.png
Icon monument.png
A sentry bot, a Knight, and Paladin Bael guard the main gate of the Citadel at the northeastern tip between the Mall Entrance and River Entrance façades
The Citadel loc.jpg
Map MarkerThe Citadel
FactionsDepartment of Defense (pre-War)
United States Armed Forces (pre-War)
Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel
LeadersElder Owyn Lyons
MerchantsKnight Captain Durga
QuestsBlood Brotherhood Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
Collecting Holotags
Death From Above Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
Cell NamePentagonExterior01-04 (ext.)
CitadelARing (A-ring)
CitadelBRing (B-ring)
CitadelLab (lab)
DLC03CitadelPit Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
DLC03zCitadelPit Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
ref id00036ae7 (bailey ne)
00036ae9 (bailey nw)
00036ae8 (bailey se)
00036aea (bailey sw)
000207a2 (A-ring)
000207a1 (B-ring)
00015157 (lab)
TerminalsCitadel terminals
Citadel terminals (Broken Steel)

The Citadel is the heavily defended headquarters of the Brotherhood of Steel in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. It is built into and beneath the ruins of the Pentagon. It is located at the 1600 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC, on the west end of Arlington Memorial Bridge, northeast of Arlington Library.


Opened in 1943, after two years of construction, the Pentagon was the nexus of the American military for the next 134 years, until the Great War of 2077 destroyed the United States. As headquarters of the Department of Defense, it was the symbol of the American military.

The building was constructed at the site formerly occupied by the notoriously unsafe Hoover-Washington Airfield. Although the original pentagonal shape was dictated by the planned Arlington Farms location, it was retained at President Roosevelt's request. The massive, four story high concrete building has five concentric rings, designated from the center out as "A" through "E" (with "F" and "G" in the basement). It also has five façades, counting clockwise from the north one : the Mall Terrace Entrance, the River Terrace Entrance façade, the Concourse Entrance (or Metro Station) façade, the South Parking Entrance façade, and the Heliport façade. The Mall Entrance and The River Entrance feature a portico, with the latter leading out to a long terrace once used for ceremonies.

In the years leading up to the Great War, the Pentagon was adapted as a location for one of the most secret military research projects, a joint venture between General Atomics and RobCo aiming to create Liberty Prime, the ultimate American war machine. However, the nuclear war and the destruction of America cut the project short and the damaged building was eventually abandoned.

It was not until 2255 that it earned a second lease on life, when the Elder council of the Brotherhood of Steel decided to send a contingent of soldiers to the East Coast, to recover any and all advanced technology from Washington, D.C. When the contingent under Paladin Owyn Lyons reached the Pentagon, they discovered it largely destroyed. However, upon closer inspection, they discovered its sub-levels mostly intact, with enough pre-War technology and weaponry to keep Brotherhood forces going. They also secured the mighty Liberty Prime - a technological marvel that, if finished, could help the Brotherhood rebuild a strength and reputation that had been declining steadily for years.

The discovery earned Paladin Owyn Lyons a battlefield promotion to Elder, and a new directive from his superiors – to establish a new, permanent Brotherhood base in the Capital Wasteland and continue the search for any other advanced technology hidden in the capital's ruins. The Citadel's construction was masterminded by Scribe Bowditch. The new gate, leading directly into the Bailey, was built into the destroyed corner between the Mall Entrance and River Entrance façades, with a crane-operated solid metal gate barring entrance.[2]

After a few months of work, the husk that was Pentagon finally became the Citadel. The Brotherhood reoccupied the laboratory underneath the courtyard and the two inner rings, A and B. The remaining three are left empty, except as transit between the inhabited sections and the sentry posts mounted on the top rim of the E ring. The courtyard was adapted as training grounds, called the Bailey. Over the next decades, the former heart of the American military would bear witness to a number of events significant to the Capital Wasteland.



The Citadel is a large fortress, built into the ruins of the Pentagon. Collapsed sections were reinforced with salvaged metal sheets and plates, with armored firing positions mounted onto the edges of the roof. Paladins and Knighs man these positions, firing at any intruders from above. The Citadel has only one known entrance, through a large metal gate set into the corner between the Mall Entrance and River Entrance facades, usually guarded by several paladins and one sentry bot. Beyond it, one passes through the five rings through a collapsed section and enters the central courtyard, the Bailey.

The inside is inaccessible until you complete The Waters of Life segment of the main quest. Entry is scripted as part of the completion of this quest. Before then, the guard commander Paladin Bael will gruffly deny you entry.


The central courtyard of the Pentagon was adapted as a large bailey for training and assembly purposes. Under the command of Paladin Gunny, new recruits practice various skills from unarmed combat to firearm usage. To this end, the bailey contains shooting ranges and other installations for combat practice.

A large hatch in the middle of the courtyard connects to Liberty Prime's launch bay below, in the laboratory. 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. Initiates sleep in beds in the Bailey.

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 when you enter the Citadel.

The A Ring contains the Lyon's Den, the Great Hall, the Library and entrances to B Ring as well as Citadel Laboratory. The Lyon's Den is the quarters of Lyons' Pride while the Great Hall serves as a briefing room for high-ranking Brotherhood members and the Pride.

In the library you can find the Vault-Tec Industries terminal you need to consult as part of Picking up the Trail. Another terminal reveals some background information on the Maxson family and various tidbits 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 mutants to China.

B Ring

The B Ring is the second 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. Owyn 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, you can find the location of a Guns and Bullets magazine under the bed in the Lyon's Den (A Ring).

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


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 and 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 sound check.

On the wall at the bottom level there is a digital map display providing the locations of Vaults in the Capital Wasteland. The map markers will be automatically added to the Pip-Boy 3000 after Rothchild's demonstration. Next to it are the Scribes' quarters with a cafeteria and storeroom.

The armory is located in an extra room on the bottom level and is run by Knight Captain Durga. She will only trade with Elder Lyons' permission (one needs only ask).

Inside the laboratory on the same floor you come in from, there is a room to the east. The companion Star Paladin Cross is located in that room, along with a set of power armor in low condition.


With the add on Broken Steel, 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 both the Air Force Base and the Citadel, revealing some helpful supplies beneath the ruins.

If you chose to destroy the Citadel, you 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.


¹ After the quest Death From Above

Notable loot

  • 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. Just outside this room, in the lounge area, there's a Brotherhood of Steel holotag on a small curved table.
  • Smuggler's End, Elder Lyon's unique AEP7 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 pick pocketed normally or reverse-pick pocketed.
  • 2 Tesla cannons in the Citadel Lab. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
  • 2 Tesla cannons in the Citadel Armory. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
  • Callahan's magnum in a safe in the Citadel Armory. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
  • 3 mini nukes in the Citadel Armory. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
  • 72 alien power cells in the Citadel Armory. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
  • 3 Nuka-grenades in the Citadel Armory. Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
Notes and holotapes

Related quests


  • With the Broken Steel add-on, a super mutant overlord may 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. One of the paladins may be killed and fall from the platform, allowing the player to collect their power armor.
  • The sentry bot outside the gates will also respawn if destroyed.
  • Oddly enough, many of the items, containers, doors, and terminals in the Citadel are all marked 'green' for the player. You may take all of these items and pick the locks on the doors and hack the terminals without penalty, such as the Armory's cell door. A Lockpick skill of 100 is required to open the Armory's cell door. You may also loot all the items on the Armory shelf right next to the quartermaster.
  • After getting special permission from Elder Lyons you can receive Power Armor Training by talking to Paladin Gunny.
  • The Brotherhood will not be hostile toward Fawkes, despite their mission to destroy super mutants (unless either becomes hostile). They will attack him however if he is fired by the player.
  • In the ring area in the courtyard where two initiates may be fighting, you 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.
  • With Broken Steel downloaded, the Citadel has the highest number of essential characters in that area.
  • Initiates on line in the courtyard do push-ups at seemingly random intervals of their own volition.
  • If you go up the southeast-east stairs (from middle) there is a doorway up on a ledge. This doesn't have a purpose: you cannot go through it; it doesn't lead anywhere; it's just a black doorway.
  • The initiate firing the laser rifle will not shoot if you step in front of him and neither will any of the other initiates.


The Citadel appears only in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenes


  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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 you shoot 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 you may accidentally shoot the grenade and kill the Initiate and anybody close.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png The radio in the bailey will continue to play GNR as if Three Dog is still alive after the player has killed him.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If you pickpocket the ammunition from the Initiate with the 10mm pistol, he will continually reload. Eventually he will aim down sight and not move or shoot.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png PCIcon pc.png It is possible to gain access to the Citadel as early as level 2 through a nearby hole south of the Citadel. The player can then speak to Paladin Gunny and receive Power Armor Training.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png 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.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png PCIcon pc.pngGeographical error: If you enter the labs directly (missing out the A Ring) from the far side of the bailey, the door you enter through leads straight down into the lab. However as you find out during the final mission, Liberty Prime is raised through the very center of the courtyard, implying the lab is directly below it. It is worth noting that the door from the bailey is a double door while the door in the Lab is a single door, an obvious design error.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png PCIcon pc.png If the Citadel is viewed from the outside, there is a notably tall construction crane, however, with the exception of the mission Take It Back!, there is no construction crane if viewed from the Bailey.



  1. Scribe Jameson's report to Elder Lyons
  2. The Lone Wanderer: "Which Order do you serve, Squire Bowditch?"
    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..."
    (Bowditch's dialogue)
The Citadel