Tower of the Sun the original fortress and dwelling place of Anarion built cSA3320 against a great buttress of Mount Mindolluin, at the Eastern end of the White Mountains. Later called Minas Tirith, it held one of the palantiri.

A good straight road ran from Minas Anor eastward though Osgiliath on the River Anduin and on to Minas Ithil, the tower of Anarion’s brother Isildur with whom he shared the Kingdom of Gondor. When Minas Ithil was first taken towards the end of the Second Age, Anarion defended Minas Anor and Osgiliath their chief city.

In TA2, Isildur planted the seedling of the White Tree of Gondor in the court of Minas Anor as a memorial to Anarion, slain in the Battle of the Last Alliance. Then cTA 420-430, King Ostoher rebuilt and enlarged Minas Anor, and used it as his summer dwelling.

Over the next 1200 years Minas Anor grew from a fortress to a town and by TA 1636 was the chief city of the realm. That was the time of the Great Plague and in that year, the King, Telemnar, and all his family succumbed to it and the White Tree of Gondor withered and died.

The kingdom passed to Telemnar’s nephew Tarondor who, in TA1640, planted a new seedling of the tree at Minas Anor and took up permanent dwelling there. A later king Calimehtar built the original White Tower atop the city cTA 1900.

In TA2002 Minas Ithil was taken again and with Osgiliath in ruins, Earnur last king of Gondor renamed Minas Anor as Minas Tirith the Tower of Guard. Its further history can be found under that name.

And yet … the old name peeps through occasionally in LotR. Aragorn uses it when he first sees the Argonath, Faramir in Ithilien declares a longing to see the name restored, and Eowyn calls it Minas Anor in the moment when her hope is restored and she plights her troth with him.

NOTE: Corrections by Merides and additional information from Cirdaneth.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Hathaldir