The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Established with the island of Númenor at the beginning of the Second Age; reduced to an island in the Downfall of II 3319
At the centre of Númenor, within the borders of Arandor
The river Siril had its source in the valley of Noirinan on the mountain's southern side
This mountain was 'holy' because of the Hallow of Eru at its summit
Other names
Title of
The title 'Holy Mountain' was also given Taniquetil in Aman, on which Manwë and Varda had their mansions


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 May 2017
  • This entry is complete

Holy Mountain

The Pillar of Heaven

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of the Holy Mountain of Númenor

A name for the Meneltarma, the tall mountain that stood in the centre of the isle of Númenor that was called the Pillar of Heaven by the Númenóreans. The holiness of the mountain derived from the Hallow of Eru at its summit: a wide space reached by a road that spiralled up the mountainside, watched over by the three Eagles known as the Witnesses of Manwë. Though that holy place could be visited at any time, three special times of prayer were set aside during the year: Erukyermë in spring, Erulaitalë at the height of summer, and Eruhantalë in autumn.

These traditions belonged to the earlier times of Númenor, but as the Second Age drew on, the Holy Mountain was gradually forgotten, until Ar-Gimilzôr the twenty-third King abandoned the traditional Three Prayers altogether. They were temporarily reinstated by his successor Tar-Palantir, but then came the accession of Ar-Pharazôn, the King who would openly challenge the Valar and bring about the Downfall of Númenor.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2000, 2009, 2014, 2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.