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An Ancient city ship is a large city-sized spaceship within the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, long ago constructed by the Ancients. Dwarfing even a Wraith Hive-Ship and Ori battlecruiser, the city ship is the largest ship ever encountered in the Stargate universe.


The ship is a snowflake-shaped platform dotted with skyscrapers, lower buildings in the six outlying sections, with the control tower in the center. However, most systems can be activated from an auxiliary control room. Due to its enormous size, the ship has been compared in size and interior space to Manhattan. Most of these ships carry a Stargate, usually located in the control room. Curiously, the city ship does not have a traditional outer hull. Instead, the atmosphere is contained within the vessel by a huge energy shield spanned around the city. Also, most of the structures are surprisingly fragile, requiring the aforementioned shield to protect them from naturally occurring phenomena such as hurricanes.
General Characteristics
Auxiliary craft Puddle Jumpers
Armaments Drone Weapons
Defense Ancient city shield
Propulsion Ancient Hyperdrive
Power Three ZPMs


The city ship, as with most Ancient technology, is powered by Zero Point Modules, requiring three to achieve full functionality. However, most systems, like the energy shield, can be activated with only a single ZPM, and day-to-day power can even be supplied by Naqahdah generators. However, in emergencies where no ZPM's are available, some systems, like the shield, can be activated by harnessing energy from lightning

The ship is also equipped with several systems encountered on most interstellar vessels, such as long range sensors, internal transporters, and sophisticated computer systems. It also carries a complement of smaller ships, Puddle Jumpers. Using the internal sensors, that can also be used to track life forms, the City is capable of sensing threats, including chemical and biological ones, and can automatically seal or open sections of the city to secure its population.

The enormous vessel can descend into the atmosphere of a planet, but to land on the ground requires a specifically constructed outpost. This outpost can not be moved to a different planet, and is typically left behind after the city ship itself has left, requiring a new outpost being constructed before the city can land on another planet. Engines are lined on the bottom side of the city ship, with two on each of the three large piers. However, Asuras has six sets of engines on each of the piers, as well as the Asuran city ship being slightly different from Atlantis it's most likely that the six engine city ship is unique to the Asurans.

Interstellar travel, or even intergalactic, is achieved by the activation of the stardrive. However, the drive requires an enormous amount of power that can only be achieved by all three ZPM's working simultaneously. The activation of the stardrive is automatically preceded by the powering up of the inertial dampers, also requiring a significant amount of power.


Defense of the vessel is provided by its all-encompassing shield. This shield however requires the presence of a ZPM to be activated. Also, the city can be made invisible by linking the cloaking device of a Puddle Jumper to the shield generators.  As a last resort, the enormous city can be submerged into an ocean, protected by its energy shield and attached to the ocean floor with an intricate clamping system.

As with Puddle Jumpers and Aurora class battleships, the city ship is equipped with Drone Weapons controlled by a throne chair and launched from three ports on the ends of three arms of the city. When not activated, these weapons are stored in specifically-designed racks that can be easily replenished.
Several city ships have been encountered by the Tau'ri, all of them in the Pegasus Galaxy. However, outposts required for landing the city have been discovered on both Earth and Proclarush Taonas, indicating the existence of several city ships in the Milky Way, however only in the distant past.

Atlantis was the capital of the Ancient empire in the Pegasus galaxy. The City was once located on Earth in what is now Antarctica. Several million years ago many of the Ancients who inhabited Earth at that time relocated the giant city to the Pegasus Galaxy. After years of being under siege by Wraith ships in orbit, the Atlantis inhabitants abandoned the city, traveling back to Earth via the Stargate.

The city was submerged in the ocean and was left like this to keep it intact and safe from the Wraith. Eventually, a team from Earth used the Stargate to travel to the City in search of knowledge and possible contact with its builders, ten thousand years after it was abandoned. Due to an energy shortage, the autonomous city released its clamps on the ocean floor and resurfaced.

Today, a team of humans from Earth makes up the bulk of Atlantis' urban inhabitants, and the city now acts as the secure main base for Stargate operations in the Pegasus Galaxy.


Another city ship was encountered on a planet in the Pegasus galaxy, populated by a primitive people. This city was in much worse condition than Atlantis, having been attacked by the Wraith or exposed to the elements and largely buried since the Ancients abandoned it. Only the central tower remained visible. However, the weapon and power systems had remained active for a greater time, and were still used to defend the planet from the Wraith by humans with the ATA gene, indicating the crossbreeding of Ancients and humans on this planet. This was the only encountered city ship that did not contain a Stargate.

The City Ship was controlled by a Lord Protector to protect the planet from the Wraith and intimidate the village nearby. When the Lord Protector was poisoned, his advisor, Otho, who was also responsible for the Lord Protector's death, succeeded him. He tried to destroy the nearby village for "defying their Lord Protector" using the City's drones, but Rodney McKay managed to stop him by powering the City's stardrive, depleting the already-weak ZPM. The City's drones and Puddle Jumpers were eventually brought back to Atlantis for later use.

Another Ancient city ship, Asuras, was encountered in 2006 by the Atlantis Expedition. This city was constructed and inhabited by replicator form un-ascended Ancients, based on a failed Ancient experiment to fight the Wraith. This city was in perfect condition, and fully powered. The city ship was the centerpiece of a much larger metropolis which, like Atlantis, is located over water.

However, after the Asurans discovered that Atlantis had survived the siege by the Wraith, they decided to attack Atlantis themselves, forcing the Atlantis Expedition to overload Asuras' ZPM's, destroying it. However, it is implied that the Asurans are already building a new city ship to replace the previous one. The rest of the Asuran cityscape remains intact on their homeworld.