At the time of the founding of the Kingdoms of Dúnedain, the High King Elendil reigned over all his people from Annúminas in the north. Gondor, the South-kingdom, was ruled in his name by his two sons, Isildur and Anárion. Each of these brothers dwelt in a city of his own, and Anárion's seat was built at the eastern end of the White Mountains, beneath the peak known as Mindolluin. Elendil had named his sons after the Sun and Moon, and their cities were named in the same way: Anárion's tower was known as Minas Anor, from the Elvish for 'Tower of the Sun'.
Minas Anor became more and more important as the history of Gondor drew on. Originally, the capital of Gondor had been at Osgiliath, between the two brothers' cities, but the Tower of the Sun eventually became the seat of the Kings of Gondor and the chief city of the land, as Osgiliath became deserted and fell into ruin. In the year III 2002, the Nazgûl captured Isildur's old city, Minas Ithil, and took it to dwell in, creating a new constant danger on Gondor's eastern border. After this time, Minas Anor was renamed Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard, but the city remained standing as a bastion of the enemies of Sauron, until the end of the Third Age and on into the Fourth.
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