Minas Ithil is a fictional fortress-city, set within the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
Minas Ithil was constructed in the year 3320 of the Second Age of the Sun, and was occupied by the Dunedain Prince Isildur. Isildur is best known for his cutting of the Ring of Power from Sauron's hand during the Battle of the Last Alliance. In Westron speech, the language of Men, Minas Ithil translates to "The Tower of the Moon", and was built on a western spur of the Mountains of Mordor. From this commanding position it was able to control the fief of Ithilien on the eastern bank of the great River Anduin. Its twin fortress-city of Minas Anor was built in the same year for his brother, Prince Anarion. While their father, Elendil ruled as High King of the Dunedain from the North Kingdom of Arnor, the brothers jointly governed the Southern region of Gondor.
A mere century after it was constructed, the forces of Sauron assaulted and seized Minas Ithil, but at the beginning of the Third Age of the Sun, Isildur took his forces and drove them out. He then restored and re-occupied Minas Ithil as a fortress of the Dunedain against the dark hordes of Mordor. However, at this time the High Kings governed the realm from the North in Arnor, which led to the waning of Minas Ithil's royal status. In the year 2000 (Third Age), the forces of the Witch-King of the Nazgul poured through the pass of Cirith Ungol, which Minas Ithil was built to control and defend. After a siege of two years, the great fortress fell to the forces of Sauron, and was renamed Minas Morgul, "The Tower of Wraiths". Here, the Witch King and his subordinate Nazgul waited in the shadows. For more than a thousand years, Minas Morgul served as the main staging area for Sauron's attacks against the realm of Gondor, and remained a constant threat to the survival of the Dunedain people.
Finally, during the War of the Ring, the evil forces were driven from Minas Morgul by the combined strength of the Rohirrim and the Men of Gondor. Although the city was renamed Minas Ithil once again, it was never again inhabited by the Men of Gondor or the Rohirrim.