J.R.R. Tolkien > The Lord of the Rings >

...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Sindarin elvish name literally meaning 'dark tower', Sauron's mighty fortress in the heart of Mordor. Also known in the Black Speech of the orcs as Lugbúrz.

The first Barad-dûr was built in the middle of the Second Age of Arda, when Sauron first came to Mordor, shortly after the Rings of Power were made, and it was in nearby Mount Doom that he forged the One Ring. Soon after, there was war between him and the elves of Eregion, and the Númenorean king Tar-Minastir had sent aid to Gil-galad in this war. However, they were never able to enter Mordor but only prevented Sauron from extending his might west. Many years later, Sauron left the Tower as a hostage of Ar-Pharazôn when he invaded Middle Earth, and his spirit returned to it after the drowning of Númenor. The Last Alliance of Men and Elves besieged the Tower afterwards, and eventually Sauron was defeated, and the Tower was leveled to the ground. Its foundations, however, remained intact, because they were created with the power of the Ring, which Isildur refused to destroy.

This allowed Sauron to rebuild the Tower during the Third Age that followed, and it was only after the One Ring was finally destroyed that the Barad-dûr was permanently destroyed as well.

Barad-dûr ('Dark Tower') is the fortress of Sauron "above the valley of Gorgoroth"1 in the land of Mordor in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth.

In The Two Towers, Aragorn states that "the Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye (Sauron's emblem)."


It is recorded in The Silmarillion that "in the days of Tar-Minaster, the eleventh King of Númenor, [Sauron] had fortified the land of Mordor and had built there the Tower of Barad-dûr. (circa 1000, Second Age [SA])"

At the end of the Second Age, Gil-galad and Elendil lay seige to Barad-dûr (3434-3441 SA), eventually defeating Sauron and razing the Dark Tower.

In the year 2951 of the Third Age (TA) Sauron "begins the rebuilding of Barad-dûr."2

In the year 3017 TA, Gollum is captured and taken to Barad-dûr to be questioned by Sauron as to the whereabouts of the One Ring.3

In The Return of the King, Frodo destroys the Ring (March 25, 3019 TA), thus sealing the "downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron."

1 The Silmarillion
2 The Return of the King, Appendix B
3 Unfinished Tales, The Hunt for the Ring

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