Cardassia Prime (or simply Cardassia) is the primary planet in the Cardassian system, located in the Alpha Quadrant; it has one moon. Cardassia is the homeworld of the Cardassian species and capital of the Cardassian Union. It is similar to Earth, but with a red atmsophere.
Prior to the militarization of the Cardassian government, Cardassia was home to some of the finest art and architecture in the quadrant. However, the once great Cardassian civilization fell in to severe decay and its starving population plundered the planet's ruins for treasures that could be sold. The Cardassian military continued this destruction of its heritage in order to fund the Federation-Cardassian War. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")
At the end of the Dominion War, determined to punish the Cardassian people for their acts of rebellion against the Dominion, Weyoun ordered that Lakarian City be destroyed, resulting in the deaths of two million civilians. This could not, however, have prepared the Cardassian people for an even greater tragedy. After the destruction of Lakarian City, the Cardassian forces switched sides to aid the Federation Alliance. Enraged by the turn of events and betrayal, the Female Changeling demanded that the Cardassian people be wiped out. After planetary bombardment from the Dominion and Breen fleets in orbit and mass slaughter from the Jem'Hadar on the planet surface, the death toll stood at an estimated eight hundred million Cardassians, with a large portion of the cities in ruins. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Cities and Land Marks
- Lakarian City was a major city on Cardassia Prime. Its leisure facilities included an amusement center - one which Gul Dukat had been planning to take his son, Mekor, to for his eleventh birthday in 2371. (DS9: "Defiant")
- In 2375, following the Cardassian Rebellion's sabotage of the planet's power systems, which caused a planet-wide blackout, the city was leveled by Jem'Hadar troops, on the order of the Founder in command on the planet. All two million inhabitants were killed. This action provoked the defection of the Cardassian military, and a planetary revolt, ultimately turning the tide of the Battle of Cardassia.
- When Ekoor and his Cardassian troops turned on their Jem'Hadar allies and killed them several hours later, Ekoor said "that's for Lakarian City". (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
- Lakat is a city on Cardassia Prime.
- Gul Madred spent his childhood eking out a meager life on the streets of Lakat. He shared some of his experiences when he was interrogating Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")
- Culat is a city on Cardassia Prime, the location of the famous University of Culat. (VOY: "Nothing Human")
- In 2371, Dr. Crell Moset, a Chief Exobiology specialist, served as Chairman of Exobiology at the University of Culat. (VOY: "Nothing Human")
Flora and Fauna
- Cardassian vole - A Cardassian vole is an animal native to Cardassia Prime. Cardassian voles are about 25 centimeters long, have little hair on their bodies, and are generally regarded as pests. They have six legs and are attracted to energy fields. Voles feature spoon-shaped impression on their foreheads, similar to those of Cardassians, and lines at the base of the cheeks (under the ears).
- A pair of mating voles are said to "breed like tribbles", but that "they're not as cute." They have even been described as "disgusting hairy little creatures with ravenous appetites." (DS9: "Ferengi Love Songs")
- In the mirror universe, Dr. Phlox was operating on a vole in 2155, when he heard Commander Jonathan Archer's announcement that he had taken command of Enterprise. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")
- Deep Space 9 suffered an infestation of formerly uninhabited sections of the station. After the supposed eradication of the infestation, Quark's suffered from a further infestation and had to be temporarily closed down while they were exterminated. (DS9: "Playing God", "Ferengi Love Songs")
- Although illegal in Bajoran space, it is possible to train Cardassian voles to fight. Quark was warned at least once by Odo that no live vole fights would be permitted on the station, and both he and Morn were once caught by Odo preparing a number of voles for a fight. (DS9: "Destiny", "Through the Looking Glass") There was apparently a market for their bellies. (DS9: "Body Parts")
- Gettle are a communal animal native to Cardassia Prime.
- While recalling his childhood on the streets of Lakat to Jean-Luc Picard, Gul Madred noted how he lived among a band of children, all under the age of six years, who desperately tried to survive being homeless.
- Madred compared this group of children to "packs of wild gettles," when describing how they would often huddle with each other as they slept together in doorways to keep warm. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")
- Riding Hound - The riding hound is a Cardassian animal. A five-year-old Elim Garak once attempted to ride one repeatedly on the only day he and his father Enabran Tain ever went to the country. On his deathbed, Tain recounted the event and how he was proud of his son for not giving up. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")
- Taspar - Taspar eggs originated from a local Cardassian creature called a taspar. Taspar eggs can be eaten boiled or raw. Most Cardassians are revolted by the sight of live taspar; it has a brownish color and a gelatinous consistency.
- As a starving homeless child, Madred scavenged for and ate raw taspar eggs straight from the shell.
- Several years later, in 2369, Gul Madred served a raw taspar egg in a similar manner to a captive Captain Jean-Luc Picard in an effort to degrade him. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")
- Wompats are an animal native to Cardassia Prime that are often kept as pets.
- Jil Orra, Gul Madred's daughter, kept a pet wompat. She would take it with her when she went to visit her father at work. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")