Places in Middle-earth
Tower of Cirith Ungol
Meaning: Tower of the Pass of the Spider
Location: At the Cirith Ungol, a pass through the Ephel Dúath (Mountains of Shadow) into Mordor.
Description: ...he could see the Tower of Cirith Ungol in all its strength. The horn that he had seen from the other side was only its topmost turret. Its eastern face stood up in three great tiers from a shelf in the mountain-wall far below; its back was to a great cliff behind, from which it jutted out in pointed bastions, one above the other, diminishing as they rose, with sheer sides of cunning masonry that looked north-east and south-east. About the lowest tier, two hundred feet below where Sam now stood, there was a battlemented wall enclosing a narrow court. Its gate, upon the near south-eastern side, opened on a broad road, the outer parapet of which ran upon the brink of a precipice, until it turned southward and went winding down into the darkness to join the road that came over the Morgul Pass.
The stone-work rose thirty feet, without a crack or ledge, to overhanging courses like inverted steps.
He looked about, and then within the shadow of the gate he saw the Two Watchers. They were like great figures seated upon thrones. Each had three joined bodies, and three heads facing outward, and inward, and across the gateway. The heads had vulture-faces, and on their great knees were laid clawlike hands. They seemed to be carved out of huge blocks of stone, immovable, and yet they were aware: some dreadful spirit of evil vigilance abode in them...
He had climbed right to the flat roof of the third and highest tier of the Tower: an open space, about twenty yards across, with a low parapet. There the stair was covered by a small domed chamber in the midst of the roof, with low doors facing east and west.
RotK, Book VI, Ch 1 The Tower of Cirith Ungol
Contributors: Lyllyn 6.04.03