The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 12 June 2010
  • Updates planned: 2

Hill of Guard

The hill of Minas Tirith

A rocky hill at the extreme eastern end of the White Mountains, where the Exiles of Númenor built one of their great fortified cities. The hill rose steeply for seven hundred feet (about 215m) from the plain at its feet, but by the work of the Dúnedain it was made completely sheer and given a sharp edge pointing eastward. The city built around it rose in seven levels to reach its summit, with a road leading to its upper Citadel that passed through carved arches in the east-pointing rock of the hill. This was the city originally named Minas Anor, the seat of Anárion son of Elendil.

The name 'Hill of Guard' comes from later times, when the city was renamed Minas Tirith ('Tower of Guard') and the hill Amon Tirith. At the time the city was built, the hill must therefore have had a different name, but that name is not recorded (it might be speculated that it was known as Amon Anor ('Hill of the Sun') following the old name of Minas Anor, but there is no direct evidence to confirm this idea).

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