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Nan Madol is a cultural city-state in Civilization VI.


Nan Madol has the perfect synergy with any maritime civilization, or just any empire that has a lot of coastal or lakeside districts. These include Norway, Australia, Indonesia, Phoenicia, and the Netherlands.

Since all districts receive this bonus (not just specialty ones) it is particularly strong for newly settled cities, which start with +2 Culture Culture from the City Center.

Wonders also provide the +2 Culture Culture when placed on or next to Coast or Lake tiles. Not only that, the bonus is received as soon as wonder construction is started (as opposed to districts, which need to be completed).


In the screenshots below, Nidaros is generating 123.6 Culture Culture per turn, and has +55% modifiers (+30% from Kilwa Kisiwani, +15% from Pingala, +10% from Amenities Amenities). There are nine districts that border Lake or Coast, which contributes +18 Culture Culture. The third Envoy Envoy at Nan Madol contributes +2 Culture Culture, for a total of +20 Culture Culture. With the +55% modifier, the new Culture Culture per turn is:

Note that the unfinished Industrial Zone does not yield +2 Culture Culture, while the unfinished Great Zimbabwe does.

Civilopedia entry[]

Most archaeologists and historians do not believe that the ruins of the abandoned city of Nan Madol, lying adjacent to the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, are a remnant of the lost continent of Mu. The city was instead constructed in a lagoon and consisted of about 100 small artificial islets built on stone and coral fill platforms separated by tidal canals. Instead of being left over from the prehistoric sinking of a continent, best guess is that construction of these islets started c. 8th Century AD, and that the construction of the megalithic structures upon these took place in the 12th and 13th centuries. All so the elite castes of the Sandeleur dynasty didn’t have to mix with the commoners.

The original name for the lagoon-city was Soun Nan-leng (“Reef of Heaven”), and European explorers dubbed it the “Venice of the Pacific.” Most of the named islets were residential, homes for chieftains and priests … although some served special needs: food preparation, coconut oil production on Peinering, canoe construction on Dapahu. The mortuary “neighborhood” includes some 58 islets, covered with graves. Nan Madol was the political, religious and cultural seat of power for the Sandeleur, who had succeeded in uniting the clans (which totaled around 25 thousand people) on Pohnpei and Temwen islands. Shortly thereafter the ruler forced the tribal chieftains to move to the new city where he could keep an eye on them.

At its peak, the population of Nan Madol was perhaps about 1000. Since there are no sources of food or fresh water on the islets, everything had to be rowed over from Pohnpei. According to legend, the stones used for all the buildings and tombs were flown to the island by twin sorcerers Olisihpa and Olosohpa, who founded the Sandeleur. Whatever the facts of its creation, by the time the Europeans arrived in the early 1800s, Nan Madol had been abandoned, likely around 1450 when the Sandeleur collapsed.


Related achievements[]

Army of Cthulhu
Army of Cthulhu
Levy the military of Nan Madol
The excavations of Nan Madol are said to have influenced H. P. Lovecraft on his creation of the fictional city of R'lyeh, which was home of Cthulhu, a cosmic deity.
Civilization VI City-States [edit]
Cultural Antananarivo1Ayutthaya1Caguana1KumasiMohenjo-DaroNan MadolRapa Nui GS-Only.pngVilnius
Industrial Auckland1BrusselsBuenos AiresCardiff GS-Only.pngHong KongJohannesburg1Mexico City GS-Only.pngSingapore1Toronto
Militaristic Akkad GS-Only.pngCarthageGranada1KabulLahore1Ngazargamu GS-Only.pngPreslavVallettaWolin1
Religious Armagh1Chinguetti1JerusalemKandyLa VentaNazca GS-Only.pngVatican City1Yerevan
Scientific AnshanBabylon R&F-Only.pngBologna GS-Only.pngFez GS-Only.pngGenevaHattusaMitla1Nalanda1Palenque1SeoulStockholmTaruga1
Trade AmsterdamAntioch R&F-Only.pngBandar BruneiCahokia GS-Only.pngHunza1JakartaLisbonMogadishuMuscat1Samarkand1VeniceZanzibar
1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only.png Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.