The forest of Lothlórien was situated on both banks of the River Celebrant, to the southeast of Khazad-dûm and to the west of Anduin. The main settlement within the forest was Caras Galadhon (the "City of the Trees") and its people were known as the Galadhrim.
Other names for Lothlórien include Dwimordene, the Golden Wood, Laurelindórenan, Lindórinand, Lórinand, and Lórien.
Lothlórien was not the oldest forest in Middle-earth, but it was the only forest that contain mallorn trees. The people of Caras Galadhon made their homes in the woven branches of the trees.
The wood is first mentioned in the Second Age when some of the Sindar emigrated eastwards into the area of the Golden Wood and were received by the wood-elves of those lands with reverence. Furthermore, at the time of the War of the Elves and Sauron, Lórien accepted an influx of Noldorin Elves form Eregion, fleeing by way of Moria.
The Sindarin elf Amdir became King of Lórien and ruled until the end of the Second Age. His son Amroth then took the throne. He was preoccupied for many years with his suit of Nimrodel, and Lórien was left unfortified and poorly defended.
In the middle of the Third Age, Celeborn and Galadriel, the ringbearer of Nenya, arrived in Lórien. By that time, the forest had become a source of strange rumour - its borders were shunned by other races, and even the Wood-Elves of Greenwood were split away from the Galadhrim. For although Galadriel and Celeborn took part in the High Councils held by the Istari and the Eldar, the true nature of the place that was becoming known as Lothlórien was kept secret. Galadriel and Nenya laid a change on the Golden Wood so that it was set apart from the stream of time, ageing far more slowly than other lands.
Lothlórien endured through the Third Age, and it sheltered the Fellowship of the Ring as they fled from Moria. Shortly after that, in TA 3019, Orc hosts from Dol Guldur crossed the Anduin and assaulted the Galadhrim in three waves. All were beaten back, and in the end, the Elves of Lothlórien crossed the Anduin and destroyed Dol Guldur.
At the end of the Third Age, Galadriel took ship into the West, causing her
enchantment to lift from the woods. Some time afterwards, Celeborn also left
Lothlórien. In the Fourth Age only a few of the Galadhrim were in the
Wood, but there was no longer light or song in Lothlórien.