Places in Middle-earth
Hill of Guard
Location: The rise of land that created the stepped levels Minas Tirith, rising 700 feet from the level of the plains below.
Description: "For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into the hill [the Hill of Guard], and about each was set a wall, and in each wall was a gate... And each time that it passed the line of the Great Gate it went through an arched tunnel, piercing a vast pier of rock whose huge out-thrust bulk divided in two all the circles of the City save the first. For partly in the primeval shaping of the hill, partly by the mighty craft and labour of old, there stood up from the rear of the wide court behind the Gate a towering bastion of stone, its edge sharp as a ship-keel facing east. Up it rose, even to the level of the topmost circle, and there was crowned by a battlement; so that those in the Citadel might, like mariners in a mountainous ship, look from its peak sheer down upon the Gate seven hundred feet below...
A strong citadel it was indeed, and not to be taken by a host of enemies, if there were any within that could hold weapons; unless some foe could come behind and scale the lower skirts of Mindolluin, and so come upon the narrow shoulder that joined the Hill of Guard to the mountain mass."
From The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith
"Tolkien mapped the Hill of Guard as being an almost circular ellipse. Only two features broke the symmetry: the narrow shoulder which joined the Hill to the mountain mass, and the spectacular towering bastion of stone..."
From The Atlas of Middle-earth, Revised Edition, p. 138
Contributors: docmon, 25 Sept 05