The great Hidden City of Turgon was concealed from friend and foe alike during the First Age by the Encircling Mountains, and guarded from trespassers by the Eagles of Thorondor.
In the fiftieth year of the First Age, Turgon journeyed from his halls in Nevrast with his cousin Finrod. Ulmo guided him to the hidden valley of Tumladen, and there he founded Gondolin. The city was completed in c. l 126, and Turgon's people who had dwelt in Nevrast travelled there secretly.
The city was inviolate for almost four hundred years, Turgon did not break his secret leaguer until the time of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad in l 417, and even after that disastrous battle he was able to return in secret to the city with the aid of Hurin Thalion.
Morgoth's servants finally discovered Gondolin through the treachery of Maeglin, and it was sacked in l 510. Turgon was lost in the Fall of the city, but some few (including Tuor and Idril, with their child Earendil) escaped the destruction and dwelt as Exiles at the Mouths of Sirion.
THE BUILDING OF GONDOLIN
Turgon, son of Fingolfin, discovered the hidden vale of Tumladen, with the guide of the Vala Ulmo. It was located east of the Sirion in a ring of mountains, the Echoriath, that wasn't reached by any living being except for the mighty Eagles of Thorondor. But there was an entrance carved beneath the mountains by the waters that ran down to meet the Sirion; and this road found Turgon, the Dry River, and thus came to the green fields between the mountains, and saw the hill-rock of Amon Gwareth, that once was an island, for Tumladen had been a lake in elder days.
Turgon then realized he had found the place he desired, and decided to build there a beautiful city in memory of Tirion on Túna, but came back to his older dwelling in Nevrast. Then it came to be the Dark Enemy unleashed his hordes once more, and the Third Battle began and finished, Dagor Aglareb, won, but a warning to the watching lords of the Eldar. In the heart of Turgon awoke once more the desire of a safe realm for darker times and he convoked many of his peoples, the most courageous and skillful. To the hidden valley they arrived in secret, and the construction of the city began; and they kept guard on the mountains and were protected by the power of Ulmo.
Turgon still lived in Nevrast, continuing the works in secret, until after 52 years, the city was finished. It is said that he had decided to call it Ondolindë in the tongue of the elves of Valinor, the Rock of the Music of Waters, because there were many streams and fountains in the hill; but in Sindarin the name changed and became Gondolin, the Hidden Rock.
Turgon then prepared to leave his residence in Vinyamar by the sea, and there Ulmo presented to him once more, and told him that his march to Gondolin was going to be protected by his power, and warned him that the walls would once fall, and when the time came to leave the secret realm, the mighty Vala would send a messenger invested with an armor and sword so that the elven king could recognize him. At last the host left, and in secret arrived at last the city, fair and white, taller than any other in Middle-Earth, that would last longer than all the realms of the Eldar in Beleriand, proud and a reflect of Tirion on Túna; Gondolin.
After thei arrival in the new city, the Gondolindrim continued to labour in its building, until it was said to rival even Tirion itself. Its walls stood high and white above the plain, and its most prominent feature was the great Tower of the King, where, among the fountains, Turgon himself made Glingal and Belthil, trees of gold and silver made in memory of the Two Trees of Valinor.
Gondolin was protected by three things: Ulmo, whose power was in the river Sirion and kept the entrance to Gondolin hidden to all save those who Turgon willed to pass, The Great Eagles commanded by Thorondor "King of the Eagles", and the immense height of the Encircling Mountains.
THE COMING OF MAEGLIN
There followed two centuries of happy peace: Morgoth was besieged in the far north of the world, and the people of Gondolin lived undisturbed by the events outside their fair city. At last, though, a seed of discontent appeared: King Turgon's sister Aredhel determined to leave the city, much against Turgon's wishes, and journey into Middle-Earth.
Soon after her departure, her guards returned, and reported that they had lost her in the dark and sorcerous region to the south east of the city, known as Nan Dungortheb.
More that twenty years then passed, and then suddenly Aredhel returned. With her was one who she claimed to be Maeglin, her son by Eol the Dark Elf of Nan Elmoth. This Maeglin accepted Turgon as lord, but his father Eol had followed his wife and son to Gondolin and been captured at the entranceway. He was brought before Turgon. Eol refused to submit to Turgon's authority, and instead chose death for himself and his unwilling son. He threw a poisoned dart to slay Maeglin, but instead struck Aredhel, who fell ill with the poison and died. The body of Eol was broken on the Caragdur for this.
Maeglin, though, had had no part in these evils, and Turgon accepted him, and he gres to be among the great in Gondolin, wise in council, cunning in smithcraft and mighty in battle.
TWO GREAT BATTLES
Again for more than a hundred years after the deaths of Aredhel and Eol, Gondolin again had peace. The time was coming, though, when Morgoth would break the Siege of Angband, and the unstoppable doom of the Elves would fall upon them. One winter's night, the fires of Angband destroyed the leaguer of the Noldor: the Dagor Bragollach. In this disaster, the people of Gongolin played no immediate part.
They were drawn into the events of those years, though, when two young brothers of the race of Men, Hurin and Huor, were cut off from their army and became lost amid the feet of Crissaegrim. Thorondor brought them to Turgon. At the bidding of Ulmo, Turgon accepted them, and they remained in Gondolin for almost a year, when they returned to their homes. In this kindly act were the first seeds of Gondolin's destruction more than fifty years later.
Turgon now devised a new policy for the salvation of the Elves: he began secretly to send his people out westward across the great sea, to seek the land of the Valar and ask their pardon and aid. None of his mariners succeeded, but this was a wise course, though Turgon never knwe it: he was lost long before his grandson Earendil, aided by a Silmaril, finally succeeded in this task.
As time passed since the destruction of the Dagor Bragollach, the Elves of Beleriand began to arm for a counterstroke, and Turgon secretly began his own preparations. Fourteen years after the breaking of the Siege of Angband, and some three hundred and fifty since the completion of Gongolin, Turgon rode for the first time to war. Unknown and unbidden by his kin, he rode to their aid with an army of ten thousand. This was to be the great battle that was to become known as the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
THE FALL OF GONDOLIN
For five centuries Gondolin prospered while one by one all the other Elven kingdoms of Beleriand were destroyed. Then in the year 511 Gondolin was betrayed by Maeglin (who was later killed by Tuor son of Huor) and its secret passes were revealed to Morgoth. The Dark Enemy sent a huge force of Orcs, Trolls, Dragons, and Balrogs into the Hidden Kingdom. Terrible were the battles beneath its walls, but finally Gondolin was overrun and its people slaughtered. The last of the High Elf Kingdoms of Beleriand, the towers of Gondolin were torn down and the ruin scorched black with Dragon fire.
more about The Fall of Gondolin
SHORTER FORM of history of FIRST AGE OF ARDA
|495||Fall of Nargothrond|
|510||Fall of Gondolin|
|583||Fall of Angband|
LONGER FORM of history of FIRST AGE OF ARDA
|1||Fingolfin enters Mithrim and is crowned as High King of Noldor in Middle-Earth.|
|51||Ulmo appears in dreams of Finrod and Turgon - building of Nargothrond starts.|
|52||Ulmo shows existence of Tumladen to Turgon - building of Gondolin starts.|
|75||Dagor Aglareb - Siege of Angband begins.|
|126||The end of building of powerful Gondolin - kingdom is settled.|
|260||Glaurung is defeated on Ard-galen - long peace begins.|
|304||Aredhel, Turgon's sister, leaves Gondolin.|
|306||Maeglin, son of Aredhel and dark elf Eol, is born.|
|330||Maeglin enters Gondolin - death of Aredhel and Eol.|
|365||People enter Beleriand - first Bereg and then Haleth.|
|425||Hador settles his house in Dor-lomin.|
|441||Hurin is born.|
|444||Huor is born.|
|455||Dagor Bragollach - death of Hador and Fingolfin - Fingon is crowned as High King.|
|457||Sauron captured Tol Sirion - Hurin and Huor remain one year in Gondolin.|
|465||Turin is borned.|
|467||Death of Finrod Felagund - Tol Sirion is liberated.|
|468||Beren captures Silmarill from Morgoth's crown and together with Luthien dies.|
|471||Nirnaeth Arnoediad - death of Fingon and Huor, captivity of Hurin, escape of Turin, birth of Tuor - Turgon is crowned as High King of Noldor in Middle-Earth.|
|487||Turin enters Nargothrond.|
|495||Fall of Nargothrond - Tuor enters Gondolin.|
|501||Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga.|
|502||Morgoth set Hurin free from Thangorodrim.|
|503||Weddings of Tuor and Idril, Turgon's daughter - Hurin dies.|
|504||Earendil, son of Tuor and Idril, is born.|
|505||Fall of Menegroth - death of Elu Thingol.|
|510||Fall of Gondolin - death of Ecthelion, Gothmog, Turgon, Maeglin, Glorfindel - Tuor with Idril and Earendil escapes, Gil-galad is crowned as last High King of Noldor.|
|543||Tuor and Idril travels to Valinor - Elrond and Elros, sons of Earendil and Elwin, are born.|
|583||Fall of Angband, Morgoth is finally defeated - Earendil on Vingilot - end of Beleriand.|
more about Battles of the First Age
TURGON GREAT OF GONDOLIN, well-known as a WISE
Turgon, Elven King of Gondolin was born during the Age of Stars in Eldamar, Turgon was the second son of Fingolfin of the Noldor. After the destruction of the Trees of Light, Turgon was among the Noldor who pursued Morgoth and the Silmarils to Middle-earth. In Beleriand, Turgon claimed Nevrast as his realm. However, in the year 51 of the First Age of the Sun, Ulmo the Vala showed Turgon the Hidden Valley of Tumladen within the Encircling Mountains. There he built a city of white stone and called it Gondolin. It was completed in 104, and Turgon ruled his kingdom for five centuries. In 473, he led the Gondolindrim into the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. In 496 Ulmo sent the Edain Hero Tuor to warn Turgon, but he refused to flee the impending doom. After years of spying in 511, Morgoth finally discovered Gondolin location and sent armies to destroy it. Turgon, with his sword Glamdring in his hand, died fighting in defense of his beloved city.