Cardassia Prime (or simply Cardassia) was the inhabited M class second and prime planet in the Cardassian system. The planet had one moon. Cardassia Prime was the capital world of the Cardassian Union and the homeworld of the Cardassians, a warp capable humanoid species. The Cardassian system was located in the Cardassian sector of the Alpha Quadrant. For two years, from 2373-2375, Cardassia Prime was an ally of the Dominion.
Flora and fauna
- Main article: Cardassian history
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. Due to the planet's scarcity in natural resources, the impoverished society suffered from famine and disease, leading to millions of deaths. 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")
- "Second Skin"
- "Trials and Tribble-ations"
- "By Inferno's Light"
- "Tears of the Prophets"
- "Image in the Sand"
- "Shadows and Symbols"
- "Treachery, Faith and the Great River"
- "'Til Death Do Us Part"
- "Strange Bedfellows"
- "The Changing Face of Evil"
- "Tacking Into the Wind"
- "The Dogs of War"
- "What You Leave Behind"
According to the script for "Tribunal", the pronunciation for Cardassia was "car-DASS-ee-uh". 
Cardassia Prime was first seen on screen in DS9: "Tribunal". Production designer Herman Zimmerman has said he took inspiration in the set design for this episode from George Orwell's 1948 book Nineteen Eighty-Four, and of the final look of Cardassia, Zimmerman explains, "Spartan, uncompromising and merciless are all adjectives that you could use to describe Cardassia." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
According to Star Trek: Star Charts (pp. 35, 43, & 46), the Cardassian system primary was named Cardassia, a Class K star with a magnitude of -1, which was a hundred times brighter than Sol. Cardassia Prime was the sixth planet in the Cardassia System. This capital city was Lakat, and the population of the planet was counted as 7.9 billion in 2378. The Cardassians have been warp capable since 1925. Major attractions of the planet included the Imperial Plaza, the Lakarian Amusement Park, and University of Culat. In 2375, the Dominion destroyed most of the major cities.
In the non-canon novel A Stitch in Time, Elim Garak aids in the reconstruction of Cardassia after the Dominion War. Furthermore, despite opposition from prominent figures such as Gul Evek and Gul Madred, Cardassia took on a democratic-styled government, ending the military's rule.
In the alternate future seen in the Deep Space Nine book trilogy Millennium, Cardassia Prime, along with the entire Cardassian Union, were razed by the Grigari. By the year 2399, the Cardassians were all but extinct.