Map of Taniquetil in Aman
After the Lamps of the Valar were destroyed by Melkor in the distant past of the World, the Valar themselves withdrew from Middle-earth into a land on the far western edges of Arda. Along its eastern shoreline, they raised a great mountain range as a defence against the Dark Lord, and the greatest of all those mountains - indeed, the greatest mountain in the World - was an immensely tall white peak known as Taniquetil.
On the the peak of Taniquetil, Manwë and Varda had their halls of Ilmarin, from which they looked out across the World, and from those halls Manwë sent out his hawks and eagles to watch over Arda. Because of the dwellings of the Elder King and his spouse, Taniquetil became known as the Holy Mountain. Such was the reverence of the Vanyar for the Mountain of Manwë that they abandoned their own city of Tirion, and settled on the flanks of the great mountain beneath the halls of the High King of Arda.
The name Taniquetil itself means 'high white peak', but 'high' in the sense of 'noble, lofty' rather than simply 'tall'. From its whiteness it took many of its other names, including Oiolossë and Amon Uilos, each translated as 'Mount Everwhite'.
The Annals of Aman date the raising of Taniquetil 3,450 Valian Years after the arrival of the Valar in Arda. That translates as roughly 14,800 years before the beginning of the First Age. (The Annals of Aman appear in Morgoth's Ring, volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth).
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