Minas Anor
Capital of Gondor
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/MinasAnor3d.jpg)
800 T.A. 25 000
1200 T.A. 45 000
1450 T.A. 60 000
1550 T.A. 60 000
1650 T.A. 45 000
1810 T.A. 55 000
1944 T.A. 65 000
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/OsgiliathLocation.jpg)
Images of the City
Bird's eye view of Minas Anor
A view from above
Typical courtyard in Minas Anor
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/MinasAnorGates.jpg)
Gates of Minas Anor
Merethrond and the Office of Estates
Entrance to the city
Street view of Minas Anor
Street view of Minas Anor
Street view of Minas Anor
Street view of Minas Anor

Minas Anor

Adapted from Graham Staplehurst's Minas Tirith (ICE 8301)

Minas Anor (Tower of the Sun), also known as the City of the White Tree, is the royal seat and new capital of Gondor. It was named after the fortification raised on the Citadel Rock in II 3328 by Anárion, younger brother of Isildur and second son of Elendil, the High King of Dúnedain. The Citadel Rock has special religious significance to the Dúnedain because of the White Tree.

The city was built by king Ostoher in III 420, originally to guard the old capital, Osgiliath, from attack from the west. The city of Ostoher was vaguely modelled after Gondolin, the secret elven city described in Silmarillion. It rises from the great knee of rock that stands at the base of Mount Mindolluin, the last and easternmost peak of the White Mountains. Minas Anor was built upon the lowest skirts of the granite massif and carved out of living rock. Ostoher made it his summer residence, and it became the heavily fortified capital of Gondorin III 1640, when king Tarondor moved the King's House from Osgiliath following the Great Plague.

With its adjoining suburbs, ports and hamlets, region of Minas Anor has a population of c. 62,000 (52,000 after the Plague).


The city is divided into seven levels, each 100 feet (30.5 m) higher than the one below it, and surrounded by a white wall. The Outer Wall of Ostoher was made of seamless black stone (the same material used in Orthanc); it is vulnerable only to earthquakes. The technique of melting and hardening stone with alchemical substances has been lost since the Kin-Strife.

The Great Gate of Minas Anor face east in the outer wall, guarded by huge stone towers and fortified positions. The gates of the second level through the sixth were built so that they were at different positions of the wall. This measure was designed to make capture of the already heavily fortified city even more difficult. Also, a spur of rock, the summit of which was level with the city's uppermost tier, juts out from the hill in an easterly direction, dividing all but the first level into two parts. On the saddle between the city and Mindolluin is Rath Dínen (The Silent Street), where the tombs of the Kings of Gondor and other heroes are built.

The gate of the seventh level is reached by a lit tunnel from the sixth. The topmost level contains the Citadel, goverment offices, Hall of Feasts (Merethrond), barracks for the Royal Guard and lodgings for the King and his court. The Seeing Stone of Minas Anor rests in a secret chamber at the top of the Tower of Anárion.


"...For ten leagues or more it ran from the mountains' feet and so back again, enclosing in its fence the fields of Pelennor; fair and fertile townlands on the long slopes and terraces falling to the deep levels of the Anduin." -Red Book

The Pelennor, or 'fenced lands' of Minas Anor, are surrounded by a great encircling dike of Noeg Echor, a sturdy defence which protects the valuable farms and fields from flooding. The Pelennor cover some 150 square miles (96,000 acres) including tilth (cultivated land), orchards, and fold (enclosures for animals).


Harlond (Southport) runs along the northern bank of the Anduin three miles south of the Great Gates, just beyond Noeg Echor. It is a bustling hub of commerce and suburb of Minas Anor, with population fluctuating around 7,000.


The White City is de facto and de iure independent political entity inside the kingdom of Gondor. It's constitution my be best described as plutocracy. The governing council for the city is known as the Conclave, overseen by the prince-president of Minas Anor. Conclave meets three times a month (or more often in an emergency) in its hall on the VI level. Sessions are closed to the public. Conclave deal with any matters relating to the laws and governance of the city and the Pelennor fields. It formulates and passes any new legislation - such as the rules restricting immigration - and it considers the budget and expenditure from the city's treasury. Most citizens make a contribution to this through their Fellowships or licenses to conduct business. Council tax is pretty high: A tenth part of all income plus additional taxes on property, water use, and permits of work. A special levy known as Refuge Tax (1639-1658) was levied on all people to support refugees of Osgiliath living in shanty-towns of Pelennor.

The Conclave is made up of thee groups of members:

In addition these voting members, the Warden of the Keys sits on Conclave, being to voice of the city's defence. He very rarely votes, although not disqualified from so doing. The Chair at meetings is taken by the Prince-President or, in his absence, by the Warden. If neither is available, eldest peer in Conclave takes precedence. The Prince-President has an ability to veto any legislation or verdict made by Conclave. Members may bring a secretary to Conclave, and may also call an outsider speakers to offer expert opinion and evidence if needed. Conclave is also, when necessary, a High Court to decide matters pertaining to the city's own legislation. The Deputy of Scribes' Fellowship is responsible for supplying a clerk to Conclave in order that a record of proceedings is made.


Prince-President of Minas Anor is a non-hereditary title given to a minor members of the royal family. Often the Prince-President was also been the Warden of the province of Anórien, including vale of Lossarnach. Recent translation of the Royal Seat to Minas Anor in 1640 has done much to undermine the formerly limitless independence of the Prince-Presidency. While many of the Fellowships look forward to regal patronage, the Prince-Presidency can see only demotion looming ahead. Major discordance between Royal and City governments have been avoided thus far, but when the war ends, there might be a storm brewing.

Current Prince-President is Mindacil, nephew of king Tarondor. He gets on well with Conclave and always sides with the most popular faction. He has recently allied himself with the leading members of nobility in attempt to curtail any further royal intrusions into his own sphere of authority.

Customs, laws and living

There are numerous customs observed in Minas Anor which distinguish it from all other cities of Gondor. The singularity of its construction and preciousness of its real estate have led to many special arrangements. First of all, Anorians are a social bunch; more so than any other Gondorians. They live, work, eat, relax and even shit together. There are few private houses where just one family is found. Instead they group together in lodging houses and the buildings put up by Fellowships which serve both as workshops and accommodation.

Following a profession is illegal in Minas Anor if you are not a sanctioned member of a Fellowship, and rogue craftsmen and traders are quickly ostracised, mauled, summarily fined and then thrown out. The Fellowships of Minas Anor regulate all production, control prices, provide social benefits and lodging, provide communal workplaces and recreation, and burials for deceased members. Along with the twenty-eight recognized Fellowships which are represented in Conclave, there are a host of smaller, informal ones; these wield no political significance but still serve as focuses for the lives of their members. Everyone in Minas Anor belongs to a club; if not, he or she is an outcast, or worse still, a foreigner.

Crime is peculiarly low in Minas Anor. The tight living quarters, lamp-lit streets and well nigh absent of privacy all contribute to it, although the braggart but vigilant Watchmen who patrol the streets to keep them clear of drunks, peace-breakers and thieves are eager to take credit. They also "close" the Great Gate a half house after sunset (it is actually left slightly open). No inns or taverns - that is places open for the sale of drinks to be consumed on the premises - are permitted within the walls. Instead, city's hostels and guesthouses offer only full board. Street-traders, stallholders, and small shops also deal in beer, wine, and other spirits, but patrons cannot consume them on the premises.

In the crowded confines of the city's streets and alleys, littering and the dumping of anything on the pavements is frowned upon. Traffic is restricted to hand barrows and palanquins (rómesir). Heavy loads are lifted by ingenious system of giant winches, wheels and cranes. Wearing of arms and armour within the walls is both illegal and uncivil, as it implies that the defences of the city are inadequate. Only Watchmen and the military are allowed (and expected) to be seen armed. Any transgressors will be mauled, summarily fined, and thrown out.

Water Supply

One of the greatest achievements of Númenórean engineering, the water supply, sewers and drains of Minas Anor includes the longest known channels and the most complex system of water storage and distribution within the city itself. On each level there are a number of underground holding tanks were, through settling, sewage is carried off directly to be dumped in the Anduin, while cleaner water is used for powering a number of water wheels and for other operations such as cooling and industrial processes. This water descends in stages down the city before taken via a number of large underground conduits to streams leading to Anduin.

Water is brought to and from individual buildings in stone conduits and lead pipes. Most faucets and actually pumps which require manual operation, although some buildings are equipped with cisterns. There are more than 160 public water cisterns under the city, capable of holding millions of cubic feets of water.

Anorians are very proud of the cleanness of their city. Unlike Pelargir, Linhir, Calmírië, Osgiliath or Gobel Mírlond, all roads are paved and lit by hundreds of lamps, no sewage litters the streets, and all people from beggars to noblemen frequent the numerous bathhouses at least twice a week, if not daily.

Company of the White Tree
  • Commander: autherdir Rúthion
  • Headquarters: Upper Barracks
  • Colours: Black, white, gold, crimson
  • Symbol: Crown & Seven Stars
    • 120 heavy cavalry
    • 120 elite line infantry

Tirrim Arandur (Guard of the Citadel )
  • Commander: autherdir Isilimo Curimardin
  • Headquarters: The Citadel
  • Colours: Black
  • Symbol: White tree & Seven Stars
    • 240 guards of the citadel

Tirith Regiment of Foot (Anor Garrison)
  • Commander: autherdir Tancred Oiomúrë
  • Headquarters: Belegrond Tirith
  • Symbol: White tree
  • 1st Company (360 men)
    • Commander: turmahîr Rodhel Harnastin
    • 200 mounted infantry
    • 160 line infantry
  • 2nd Company (280 men)
    • Commander: turmahîr Tindiath Malréd
    • 160 line infantry
    • 60 mounted infantry
    • 60 archers
  • 3rd Company (320 men)
    • Commander: turmahîr Anarond Astirian
    • 160 line infantry
    • 160 archers
  • 4th Company (320 men)
    • Commander: turmahîr Mardil Tinmëgûl
    • 160 siege engineers
    • 160 artillerists


Minas Anor is the centre for a large garrison of the King's Army (Dagarim Aran), and now also for the Royal Guard, the élite corps of men detailed to the royal household. The former is organised, like that at Minas Ithil, along standard lines. Garrison of Minas Anor is comprised of four reinforced mixed companies (turma) each headed by a lieutenant-captain. Current commander of the garrison is autherdir Tancred Oiomúrë, half-northman scion of the Oiomúrë noble family. The Citadel and Tower of Minas Anor is protected by the independent Tower Guard, commanded by the Steward of Minas Anor.

The garrison troops are equipped with a mail hauberk made from forged black steel rings and covered by a short surcoat of thick black material emblazoned with a silver embroidery design depicting the White Tree. Small raven wings grace the sides of their high-crowned steel helmets, which are set with a silver star in the centre of the circlet. These guardsmen carry a black and silver shield, a lance or spear, and a side arm such as eket, handaxe or dagger. Line infantry wear fuller mail coats reinforced by vambraces and banded mail.

The keeping of law and order in the City is given over a joint military and civilian body, the Watchmen. Members of the Porters and Door Wardens' Fellowship join with Citadel Guards in groups of four to answer the complaints of citizens and try to stop the inevitable lawbreaking. They are lightly armed and armoured, but always eager to use their muscle.

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