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Dates
Meneldil, likely the first King to be entombed in Minas Tirith, died in III 158; the Tombs remained in use until at least the death of Aragorn Elessar in IV 120
Location
To the west of Minas Tirith, beneath the peak of Mindolluin
Origins
The first Tomb would probably have been built for Meneldil, first independent King of Gondor
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  • Updated 5 December 2011
  • Updates planned: 1

The Tombs

The Houses of Dead of Minas Tirith

"...at last they came to the Silent Street, Rath Dínen, between pale domes and empty halls and images of men long dead..."
From The Return of the King V 4
The Siege of Gondor

The final resting-places of the Kings and Stewards of Gondor, on a narrow shelf of land beneath Mount Mindolluin. The Tombs were reached by a road that ran down from the Citadel of Minas Tirith, and were carefully protected; except during an actual entombing, they were visited only by those specially appointed to preserve them. The way to the Tombs was guarded by the Closed Door, Fen Hollen.

It seems that each of the Kings of Gondor had their own Tomb on the Silent Street of Rath Dínen that ran through the Houses of the Dead. At the time of the War of the Ring, then, there would have been at least twenty-nine Tombs of the Kings1. The Stewards were also laid to rest on the Silent Street, but for them it seems there was only a single great mausoleum: the House of the Stewards in which Denethor took his own life during the Siege of Minas Tirith.


Notes

1

There were thirty-one independent Kings of Gondor from Meneldil to the end of his line. However, at least two of these would not have been buried on the Silent Street: Castamir the Usurper (who would surely have been denied the honour) and Eärnur (whose body was never recovered from Minas Morgul).

Anárion, the founder of the line of Kings, may also have had a tomb on the Silent Street, but there are reasons to think he may not. First, he was not an independent King of the realm, but the co-ruler with his brother Isildur under the High King Elendil. Second, he was slain in Mordor in a Siege that continued for a year after his death, so an appropriate funeral may not have been practical.

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