Cardassia Prime or simply Cardassia (known as Cardăsa Terăm in the Cardăsda language) is the class M homeworld of the Cardassian species and capital of the Cardassian Union. It is located in the Cardassia system in the Alpha Quadrant.
- Cardassia Prime
- Cardassia VI
Cardassia was once home to a peaceful and artistic society; however the planet's poor natural resources eventually led to the collapse of that civilization. Some sources also suggest that a dramatic climactic shift further damaged the planet's ecosystem (sometimes referred to as the Cataclysm), putting a severe strain on the planet's population and eventually its government. The military gained control and started an aggressive expansion for more resources, forming the adversarial Cardassian Union with Cardassia Prime as the capital. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II", A Stitch in Time, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions)
In 2372, Cardassia Prime came under threat of invasion and occupation after the start of the Klingon-Cardassian War. The threat to the planet was only removed after Klingon chancellor Gowron ordered his forces to stop their advance after failing to capture the Cardassian Detapa Council in the First Battle of Deep Space 9. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
Corat Damar, now the leader of the Cardassian Rebellion movement against the Dominion, returned to Cardassia Prime to meet with senior Cardassian military personnel to discuss their defection to the rebellion in late 2375. The meeting was a trap and the bulk of the rebellion was quickly crushed. Damar, Kira Nerys and Elim Garak avoided the trap and started a terrorist campaign against the Dominion in the capital city. The civilian population joined in a popular uprising. The Dominion response was to destroy Lakarian City, killing two million civilians. Instead of bringing the Cardassians to their knees it pushed them further from the Dominion with the Cardassian fleet changing sides during the Battle of Cardassia. The Female Founder then took an even more extreme course of action and ordered her forces to wipe out the entire population of Cardassia Prime (possibly even the entire Cardassian Union, but the damage to Cardassia Prime was extreme). By the time the Federation Alliance surrounded the planet to prepare for the final push over 800 million Cardassians had been killed. After the Dominion surrender the planet was in a state of ruin. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
The surface of Cardassia Prime was bombarded by the Klingon Empire using mass drivers. The attack lasted three days nearly wiping out the entire population of the planet. With the death of some five billion Cardassians the event was commonly referred to as the Cardassian Holocaust. (Star Trek: Pendragon)
Star Trek: Sigils and Unions-specific locations
- Rivçal: Economic center of Cardassia Prime, origin of the majority of colonization efforts.
- Keshat Akleen
- Nevot: Location of most of Cardassia's remaining arable farmland.
- Hăzăk: Formerly agrarian area hardest-hit by the climactic shift.
- Desert of Kurab
- Fireplains of Revakian
- Plains of Ekidor