Dates: c.l. 126 - 510 (endured c. 384 years)
Location: North of Beleriand, within the Encircling Mountains
Division: Noldor and Sindar of Nevrast
Other Names: The Hidden City, The Hidden Rock, Ondolinde, The Rock of the Music of Water
Lord: Turgon, well-known as a Wise
Known People: Turgon (son of Fingolfin), Maeglin (son of Eol), Idril (daughter of Turgon), Ecthelion (captain of Gondolin), Glorfindel (captain of Gondolin), Elemmakil (chief of the Guard), Enerdhil (jewelsith), Aranwe (father of Voronwe), Aranwion (son of Aranwe), Pengolodh (historian)
Population: 45 % Noldor, 55 % Sindar
Gondolin was located in a green vale, called Tumladen, and upon a hill that emerged from the fields made of pure rock. It was surrounded by the Echoriath, a ring of very tall and hard to access mountains, guarded by Thorondor and the rest of the eagles. Outside the walls of the Echoriath, were to the west, the Valley of Sirion, controlled by the Vala Ulmo. In an island in the river, called Tol Sirion, raised a tower built by Finrod Felagund, and later controlled by his brother Orodreth, Minas Tirith it was called, the Tower of Guard. North were the peaks of the Crissaegrim, and beyond the green fields of Ard-Galen, northwest were the fountains of Sirion, Eithel Sirion and Barad Eithel, the tower of Fingolfin, father of Turgon. East were the highlands of Dorthonion, with great forests, the lands of Angrod and Aegnor, brothers of Finrod, and the Edain of Beor, southeast were the dark peaks of Ered Gorgoroth, inhabited by the people of Ungoliant, between these and the Echoriath was the pass of Anach, guarded by a fort. South were the lands of Dimbar, the region which lays between the rivers Mindeb and Sirion. Beyond was Doriath, the guarded kingdom of Thingol and Melian, in whose northern border was Nan Dungortheb, a long narrow land laying between the mountains of Terror and the forests of Doriath, in these places nobody lived.
Seven Gates of Gondolin
The only way to Gondolin was through a tunnel in which there were seven gates:
The First Gate, the Gate of Wood was a wide arch with pillars upon either hand, hewn in the rock, and between hung a great portcullis of crossed wooden bars, marveously carved and studded with iron nails.
The Second Gate the Gate of Stone looked to a traveler to be a single huge block of stone across entrance.
The Third Gate, the Gate of Bronze, a great twofold door hung with shields and plates of bronze, wherein were wrought many figures and strange signs. Upon the wall above its lintel were three square towers, roofed and clad with copper that by some device of smith-craft were ever bright and gleamed as fire in the rays of the red lamps ranged as torches against the wall.
The Fourth Gate, the Gate of Writhen Iron, high and black was its wall, and lit with no lamps, four towers of iron stood upon it and between the two inner towers was set a likeness of King Thorondor the king of all Eagles.
The wall of the Fifth Gate was built of white marble, and was low and broad, and its parapet was a trellis of silver between five great globes of marble. The gate was in shape as three parts of a circle, and wrought of silver and pearl of Nevrast in the likenesses of the Moon; but above the Gate upon the midmost globe stood an image of the White Tree Telperion, wrought of silver and malachite, with flowers made of the great pearls of Balar.
The Sixth Gate was much like the Gate of Silver, save that the wall was built of yellow marble, and the globe and parapet were of red gold; and there were six globes, and in the midst upon a golden pyramid was set an image of Laurelin, the Tree of the Sun, with flowers wrought of topazin long clusters upon chains of gold. And the Gate itself was adorned with discs of gold, many-rayed, in the likeness of the Sun, set amid devices of garnet and topaz and yellow diamonds.
The Seventh Gate, named the Great, the Gate of Steel that Maeglin wrought had no wall but on either hand were two round towers of great height, many windowed, tapering in seven storeys to a turret of bright steel, and between the towers there stood a mighty fence of steel that rusted not, but glittered cold and white. Seven great pillers of steel there were, tall with the height and girth of strong young trees, but ending in a bitter spike that rose to the sharpness of a needle; between the pillers were seven cross-bars of steel and in each space seven times seven rods of steel upright with heads like broad blade of spears. But in the centre, above the midmost pillar and the greatest, was raised a mighty image of the king-helm of Turgon, the Crown of the Hidden Kingdom, set about with diamonds.
the map of the neighbourhood of Gondolin
next here: larger neighbourhood of Gondolin
gallery of panoramas from Gondolin