The city of Nephi, or Lehi-Nephi, was the chief city in the land of Nephi. It was first settled in the sixth century B. C. by Nephi after he fled from his brethren. Lehi-Nephi was the center of Nephite culture for approximately four hundred years from ca. 590 B. C. to 200 B. C. Later, following the Lamanite acquisition of the land of Nephi, Nephite colonists under the reigns of Zeniff, Noah, and Limhi occupied the city of Nephi for approximately eighty years. The city of Nephi was likely located in a valley in a mountainous region, for when Ammon and sixteen strong men from Zarahemla set out to inquire about the Nephites living there, they went up to the land of Nephi and then camped on a hill and went down into Shilom and Nephi, or Lehi-Nephi, as the region was then called.
With the exception of the city of Zarahemla, the city of Nephi is mentioned more often than any other city in the Book of Mormon. Many prominent people of the Book of Mormon lived all or a portion of their lives in the city of Nephi. Among them were Nephi, Jacob, Mosiah, Abinadi, Alma, Zeniff, Noah, Limhi, and Gideon.