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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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General Information
Other namesLugburz, The Dark Tower
Locationnorthwestern Mordor
Descriptiongargantuan tower that hosted the Eye of Sauron
People and History
InhabitantsSauron, Nazgul, Orcs
EventsSiege of Barad-dur
GalleryImages of Barad-dûr
""...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron.""
― Vision of Frodo Baggins[1]

Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower, was the chief fortress of Sauron, on the Plateau of Gorgoroth in Mordor. Known in Black Speech as Lugburz, the Eye of Sauron kept watch over Middle-earth from its highest tower.


Barad-dûr was built by Sauron with the power of the One Ring during the Second Age. The building took six hundred years to complete; it was the greatest fortress ever built since the Fall of Angband, and much of Sauron's personal power went into it.

Barad-dûr was besieged for seven years by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and was leveled after Sauron's defeat at the end of the Second Age, but because it was created using the power of the One Ring its foundations could not be destroyed completely unless the Ring itself should be destroyed. Isildur failed to destroy the Ring, and so its foundations remained. The tower was re-built when Sauron returned to Mordor thousands of years later.

Only when the One Ring was destroyed did the Tower finally fall; without Sauron's power to sustain it, it could not stand. Barad-dûr collapsed to ruin and Sauron was finally defeated.


The Dark Tower was described as existing on a massive scale so large it was almost surreal, although Tolkien does not provide much detail beyond its size and immense strength. Since it had a "topmost tower" (the location of the Window of the Eye, from which the Eye of Sauron gazed out over Middle-earth), it presumably had multiple towers. It is otherwise described as dark and surrounded in shadow, so that it could not be clearly seen.

Barad-dur was constructed mainly of metal. 'Adamant' usually refers to diamond,but it probably has the more general meaning of 'hard, unbreakable substance'.

From the steel gate of the Tower, a causeway ran out into the plain of Gorgoroth, across a mighty bridge. We also know that lava from Mount Doom was channeled back across that plain to Barad-dûr.

Tolkien probably leaves details of the Tower's construction vague intentionally, as it was hidden by a cloud of shadow and darkness at all times. Frodo and Sam saw Barad-dûr as they journeyed to Mount Doom: '...rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr...' Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

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