Minus Tirith is the Capital of Gondor, and one of the original Numeron Empire's cities founded in Europe. One of the most influencial cities in Europe, along with one of the oldest the city of Minus Tirith has for most of its history been a fortress, but with the destruction of Pelagir the fortress has become more of a conventual city with the huge influx of refugees. Minus Tirith is the site of the White Tree of Gondor, which is one of the two trees brought from Atlantis following the exodus of the noble Atlantians from Atlantis. The Tree has become the symbol of Gondor and its continued existence is something of unimaginable importance to the Kingdom of Gondor.
Minas Tirith (as Minas Anor) was in built by Anárion, brother of Isildur, second son of Elendil, and a High King of the Empire of Numeron. King Ostoher rebuilt the city and gradually, it became more important than Osgiliath, the original capital, which in later years fell into ruin. King Tarondor finally moved the King's House to the city thereby making it the official capital of the Kingdom of Gondor. Minas Anor was then renamed Minas Tirith, meaning the "Tower of Guard", to indicate that, since the fall of Minas Morgal, Minas Tirith was the only thing that guarded Gondor and all the other lands around and behind it against the horrifying evil from Mordor.
- "For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into the hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each was a gate. But the gates were not set in a line: the Great Gate in the City wall was at the east point of the circuit, but the next faced half south, and the third half north, and so to and fro upwards; so the paved way that climbed toward the citadel turned this way and that and then that across the face of the hill."
Minas Tirith (as Minas Anor) was in built by Anárion, brother of Isildur, second son of Elendil, and a High King of the Empire of Numeron. King Ostoher rebuilt the city and gradually, it became more important than Osgiliath, the original capital, which in later years fell into ruin.
Fall of Numeron
King Tarondor finally moved the King's House to the city thereby making it the official capital of the Kingdom of Gondor. Minas Anor was then renamed Minas Tirith, meaning the "Tower of Guard", to indicate that, since the fall of Minas Morgal, Minas Tirith was the only thing that guarded Gondor and all the other lands around and behind it against the horrifying evil from Mordor.
Decline of Gondor
As everything in Gondor seemed to slowly collapse during the darkness of the Umbar Civil War , Minus Tirith shined. As Pelagir and other cities in Gondor were destroyed, their populations fled to the safet of Minus Tirith.
Points of Interest
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.
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:
- Nominees - Up to twelve nominees of life, appointed by the Prince-President, serve in Conclve. They receive an annual pension and may also be granted an allowance for the services of clerks, scribes and lodgings for business they undertake at the Prince-President's or Conclave's request.
Deputies - Twenty-eight deputies represent each of the twenty-eight Craft Fellowships (guild assemblies). Deputies are classed as honorary positions, i.e. they receive no stipend from Conclave. Most are supported by rich or powerful patrons instead.
Advisors - Up to ten advisers sit in Conclave. Each is sponsored by a family, institute or individual for an undisclosed annual sum at the invitation of the Prince-President. Such invitations are rare and can be very expensive. The revenue is added to the city's treasury. Each advisor is sponsored for four years at a time.
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.
CultureThere 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.