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  • Updated 18 March 2018
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Old Guesthouse

A building on the lowest level of Minas Tirith

The Old Guesthouse, or Sennas Iaur in Elvish,1 was a large building of grey stone on the lowest level of Minas Tirith. It stood on the wide thoroughfare known as Rath Celerdain, the Lampwrights' Street, that ran back directly from the City's Great Gate. This location near the Gate meant that it was easily reached by travellers entering the City, and thus it would have been a busy place during the times of relative peace before the War of the Ring.

The Guesthouse stood back from the main street, with a green lawn in front of the main building between two wings extending forward on either side. Behind this lawn a flight of steps ran up to the main building, fronted by a row of pillars. The walls of the main Guesthouse were broken by numerous windows for its many rooms. We do not know precisely how old the Old Guesthouse was, but the weathering of its grey stone shows it had likely stood for at least several centuries. It might even have dated back thousands of years, perhaps even to the time when Minas Tirith was known as Minas Anor, or even beyond to the rebuilding of the City by Ostoher in about the year III 420.

During the War of the Ring, with the City under imminent threat of attack from Mordor, most of the children and the aged of Minas Tirith were evacuated into the countryside westward of the City itself. Those few children that remained within Minas Tirith were housed in the Old Guesthouse, and one of these was Bergil, son of the guardsman Beregond, who acted as guide to Pippin Took after he arrived in the City with Gandalf.


Notes

1

The Elvish name Sennas Iaur does not appear in canonical sources, but it is given in Tolkien's unfinished index to The Lord of the Rings. The word sennas is not attested elsewhere, but is presumably derived from the root sed-, 'rest', 'be at peace', so a sennas would literally be a resting-place for travellers.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 18 March 2018
  • Updates planned: 2

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