About this mod

Did you also think that Solitude was too small for a capital of Skyrim? This mod turns the area around Solitude and its docks into a new part of the city, adding new layer of walls, over twenty new houses with full interiors and unique characters, and much more!

Permissions and credits
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Solitude Expansion 

Did you also think that Solitude was too small for a capital of Skyrim? Well no more! This mod incorporates the surrounding area into the city, aiming for an immersive and player-friendly design, turning Solitude into a true jewel of Skyrim. This mods adds over 30 new houses with custom-made interiors and over 65 new unique NPC characters with full daily routine living in them.
Detailed Info:
The newly enhanced city can be divided into several distinct districts, "the Old Solitude", the "Western District", the "Cliffside", the "Dock District" and the "Waterfront", and while they all seamlessly meld together, each of these areas has its unique characteristics further emphasising the size and importance of Solitude.

The Old Solitude

This is the vanilla Solitude, with its own "worldspace", accessed via load doors. I have not changed this part, allowing you to choose from the ample supply of other mods that do that if you wish. As this area is the hardest to reach, it is the most secure, yet most isolated part of the city. This limits mercantile activity to the vicinity of the main gate, making the Old Solitude a district of relative tranquillity, with the daily business of most citizens revolving around court life and the administration of the realm, both civic and military.

The Western District

This district is which most travellers will enter first, separated from the outskirts with the sawmill and Katla's farm by an imposing stone wall, patrolled day and night by the city guard, acting as the City's first line of defence. Unlike the crumbling fortifications of other Skyrim's cities, Solitude's walls are well maintained. To accommodate the needs of the travellers, there is a large inn by the main gate, providing food and shelter for the wary, while the district's warehouse serves as the primary location for unloading and storing goods and commodities brought over land. The remainder of the district is strongly residential and service oriented - serving as the explorer's guild's headquarters, and boasting the city's public bathhouse, bakery, bookshop, as well as the city bank. All these factors form a relatively well-off district, with very strong upper-middle class.


The Cliffside

This district is lies on the ragged cliffs that once separated Solitude from its sheltered bay, and with its towering staircases and terraces serves as testament to the often undervalued human architectural ability. And while the East-Empire company warehouse and part of the docks belong per-se to this district, the difficult terrain of this district again limits its value to mercantile activity as moving large quantities of goods is quite a challenge, destining this district to be the home of leisure actives of the ordinary citizens, as well a pocket of home-produced crafts, such as alchemy and tailoring. Also, the butcher has a shop in this area. These factors mean that this district is almost solely occupied by middle-class citizens.


The Dock district

The extensive docks that dominate this district are the source of Solitude's significant wealth and the beating heart of Solitude's trading activities. This district is home to numerous businesses and trading companies, who not only utilise the sea trade routes that connect the city to High Rock, Hammerfell and Morrowind, but also the northern land route to High Rock. The high numbers of travellers and residents alike also provide an ideal location for an Inn. To ensure smooth tax collection, this district is the home to the city's Customs office, overseeing all cargo entering the city both by the sea and by the north road. The sheer size of the trade spells a constant need for more ships, which with the ample supply of wood from the nearby sawmill mean that the docks are also a home of Skyrim's biggest ship-making industry. As this district lies on Solitude's eastern edge, it is again lined by walls, yet these are relatively small, as the traditional enemies would always march from the West, and the district is sheltered by the steep cliffs of the Solitude's arch itself. Yet as the docks remain vulnerable to an attack, and to ensure law-enforcement, the Solitude guard has strong presence in this district, with its own forge dedicated solely to the city's need, allowing Beirand to be of full service to the Imperial Legion. The massive variety of activities mean that this district is has the highest income-gap, resulting in a sharp contrast between the common sailors and labourers and the wealthy business owners and their families.


The Waterfront

While many of the countless Solitude's rulers toyed with the idea of expanding the city onto the far side of the Bay, the proximity to the marches and the lack of a suitable location for bridge construction meant that Solitude remained constrained to the Norther bank. Finally, it would be the poorest of the hold's inhabitants that have managed to permanently settle the southern bank. Whether forced out of the expensive land or never accepted to the city, the city's lowest classes have created a district in its own right, a disorganised blob of countless shacks and tents, the only thing preventing total anarchy is the common lack of any wealth by all its inhabitants. Recently, Jarl Elisif officially commissioned the city guard to patrol the district, mainly to defend the weak from the creatures of the marches who would often pray on them, but the reluctance of those with wealth to care for those whom they have no need for meant that the project of Waterfront's revitalisation saw little progress, and with the escalating war, it ceased completely.


Additional information: 

While the work on this project is not yet finished, it is by no means a WIP, and as such is fully functional, but with more content to come in the future updates, aimed at increasing stability, immersion, interior and clutter modifications, aesthetic changes, as well as possible expansions.

I will continue to develop patches for complementing and (popular) conflicting mods, if you create your own patch for a mod that I do not include (for whatever reason), and don't mind sharing it with other people, I will gladly upload it on the mod's page crediting you as the patches author.

Here is a video of how the mod looked in version 2.01. (for current footage, please see the screenshots)



This mod changes only the OUTSIDE of Solitude, thus all mods that change INSIDE of Solitude should be fully compatible.
(recently the Open Cities Skyrim stopped being compatible, as it began causing frequent CTDs) 

As for those that change the outside or both, these are compatible:

My Own Solitude Outskirts Improvement

Sea of Ghosts

Solitude Reborn - Use the patch available in optional files, and the following load order: "SR, SE, Patch"

Solitude Skyway - Use the patch availavle in optional files, and the following load order "Skyway, SE, Patch". (Courtesy of diabolos7)

These are partially compatible: (minor issues or outdated patches)
TRUE CITY - The Great Expansion of Solitude - Use the patch available in optional files, with load order: "SE, TC, Patch".
NB: this patch is only available for older versions.

 Northern Cardinal - Use the patch available in optional files (note that it requires "Solitude Reborn" and the "Solitude Reborn compatibility with v1.96 (Located in old files)" version of this mod. (Courtesy of adammcbane)

Pirates of Skyrim - The Northern Cardinal under the Black Flag - Use the patch for "Northern Cardinal" available in optional files (note that it requires "Solitude Reborn" and the "Solitude Reborn compatibility" version of this mod. (Courtesy of adammcbane)

Live Another Life - Some starts seem to be causing issues - namely starting as imperial. Also, to avoid frequent CTDs, load SE under/after/below "Live Another Life".

Amazing Follower Tweaks / other follower managers - due to a legacy error with certain follower ITMs, it is necessary to load  any follower manager such as AFT below SE, otherwise some NPCs will not work, and nor will the managers. This issue should be solved eventually, but for the time being this solution will work.

These are not compatible:

Solitude Docks District -  Numerous clipping issues present (namely cliffs that either mod changes from their vanilla location as well as NavMesh becoming messed up. I will not be making a patch - as it would be far too time consuming and there are multiple problematic NavMesh conflicts.

Complete Solitude - Plenty of clipping/NavMesh errors. I do not plan to make a patch as this mod is incorporated into "Solitude Reborn"

Nernies City and Town Expansion 
- while most of the buildings actually fit in, using this mod messes up NavMesh, terrain and may remove a portion of the cliff on which this mod stands, causing the city to hover in thin air (depends on load order). I do not plan on making a patch as this mod seems abandoned.

From version 2.0 this mod requires the USLEEP mod, you will get a notification while downloading it. For versions 1.8 up to 1.99, Unofficial Skyrim Patch is required - note that you will get an incorrect notice when downloading it. Note that from version 2.0 onward, this mod requires all the official DLCs! 

If you have any comments, suggestions or knowledge of any bugs please comment so that we can work accordingly. 

I am looking for more people to join me on the project, especially those who are experienced with either aesthetic improvements, performance optimisation or quest scripting. If you are interested, feel free to pm me :)

If anyone has better screenshots or even a video of this mod, feel free to upload them into the mod or pm me a URL and I will add them!

- late-game vendor support
- manual removal of legacy ITMs

To do list:

- finish the bank quest-line (done)
- "Revitalisation" of the waterfront quest-line
- more minor quests
- Voice Acting!
- add favour, allowing you to potentially befriend NPCs from the mod
- and of course bug elimination
- update/create patches for:
Solitude Reborn
Northern Cardinal
Open Cities

Thanks for Rating!
(A lot of the screenshots use the Real Vision ENB)


Either use the NMM, or for manual installation copy the contents of the zip file into your Skyrim Data folder and click replace files for anything that pops out. If you already have an older version, make sure to de-activate it prior to updating it. Also make sure that the mod is activated before launching the game!

P.S. Valeria is the one who sells you the player house, it consists of a single furnished room and costs 2500 gold.