Osgiliath was the capital city of Gondor. During the War of the Ring, the abandoned city gained strategic importance as a crossing point over the Anduin, both for the Men of Gondor and Orcs of Mordor.

Translated, its name means "The Citadel of the Host of Stars"


Second Age

Rise and Decline

Osgiliath reclaimed

City of Osgiliath

The city was founded by Isildur and Anárion near the end of the Second Age. Ruling Gondor jointly, they used Osgiliath.

At the heart of Osgiliath was a great stone bridge over the river. On the bridge was a tower containing the famous Dome of Stars, which housed the city's Palantír. Another important building (or possibly the same one) was the Great Hall, which initially served as a throne room for Isildur and Anárion.

The decline of the city was greatly accelerated by the Great Plague of TA 1636.

The final blow came in TA 2475, when Uruk-hai of Mordor overran and captured Osgiliath. Though they were thrown back by Boromir, son of the then-Steward Denethor I, Osgiliath was finally ruined and completely abandoned, and its great bridge was broken.[1]

Third Age

War of the Ring

In TA 3019, Beregond recounted to Pippin how Gondor recaptured East Osgiliath a few decades before the War of the Ring (" the days of the youth of Denethor..."), for use as a military outpost and to secure a crossing of the Anduin. In June 3018, however, a detachment of Sauron's forces, led by a Nazgûl, again took the east bank, and the defenders, led by Boromir and Faramir, were forced to retreat, destroying the bridge they had built.[2]

Boromir in Osgiliath

Osgiliath was one of the few places between Rauros and the sea where large armies could cross the Anduin without needing many boats. Thus, a key part of Gondor's defensive strategy after the loss of East Osgiliath was to hold West Osgiliath and oppose any attempt at crossing the river. It was while he was on guard in West Osgiliath in February 3019 that Faramir saw Boromir's funeral boat. But when the Witch-king and his armies attacked Gondor in March 3019, it was revealed that Sauron's forces had secretly built many floats and barges in East Osgiliath. Though they met with determined opposition from Faramir and the Osgiliath garrison, they were able to cross with fewer casualties than the defenders had hoped, and Faramir ordered a general retreat to the Rammas Echor. When he led the bulk of his army to besiege Minas Tirith, the Witch-king left some reserves in Osgiliath. Gothmog later deployed these forces against Gondor and their allies in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.[3]

Fourth Age and beyond

After Sauron was defeated and the Fourth Age began, Aragorn II Elessar, the new King of Gondor, may have rebuilt the city, but he kept Minas Tirith as his capital. He rebuilt the ruined northern city of Annúminas and proclaimed it capital of his Northern kingdom.

Portrayal in adaptations

At the end of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Faramir leads his Rangers from Henneth Annûn to Osgiliath, which is under light bombardment by Orcs on its eastern side. Since he had captured Sam, Frodo and Gollum, he takes them there by force. A Nazgûl upon a Fellbeast attacks the city, and the company scatters. Frodo is drawn to the wraith, at a bridge, but Faramir fends it off, and afterwards soon releases them. In the Extended Edition, the three are seen escaping from Osgiliath via its sewers.

Boromir speech

Boromir speaking to the people of Gondor after its western shore was defended in TA 3018

In the following movie, Osgiliath is featured in many scenes, including that of its western half's final seizure by Orcs, led by Gothmog at night, in a battle lost and fled by Faramir and the defenders. A few days later, the army of Sauron and its siege-towers are seen crossing through the city over repaired bridges. In an Extended Edition scene, a flashback is shown from a prior year of Boromir speaking to the masses of Osgiliath, and to his brother, after a battle.


Osgiliath in Sindarin means "Citadel of the Host of Stars"[4]: from ost ("city, town") and giliath ("host of stars").


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዖስጊሊኣጥ
Arabic اوسجيلياث
Armenian Ոսգիլիատհ
Belarusian Cyrillic Осгилиат
Bengali অসগিলিয়াথ
Bosnian Ozgiliat
Bulgarian Cyrillic Осгилиат
Chinese (Hong Kong) 奧斯力亞古斯
Georgian ოსგილიათ
Greek Οσγκίλιαθ
Gujarati ઑસ્ગિલિઅથ
Hebrew אוסגיליאת
Hindi ओस्ज़ीलैथ
Japanese オスギリアス
Kannada ಒಸ್ಗಿಲಿಥ್
Kazakh Осгіліатһ (Cyrillic) Osgiliath (Latin)
Korean 오스길리아스
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Осгилиатч
Macedonian Cyrillic Осгилиатх
Marathi ओस्गिलिअथ
Mongolian Cyrillic Осгилиатh
Nepalese ॐस्गिलिअथ
Pashto وسګیلیاته
Persian ازگیلیات
Punjabi ਓਸ੍ਗਿਲਿਅਥ
Russian Осгилиат
Sinhalese ඔස්ගිලියත්
Serbian Озгилијат (Cyrillic) Ozgilijat (Latin)
Tajik Cyrillic Осгилиатҳ
Telugu ఒసగిలియాత్
Thai ออสกิเลียธ
Ukrainian Cyrillic Осґіліат
Urdu عثگالیات
Uzbek Осгилатҳ (Cyrillic) Osgiliath (Latin)
Yiddish אָסגיליאַטה
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Dunland | Ithilien | Rohan | Arnor | Ettenmoors | Gondor | Lindon | Minhiriath | Rhûn | The Shire | Mordor | Harad | Forochel

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Caradhras | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Old Forest | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Hornburg | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Orthanc | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Cair Andros | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Buckland | Enedwaith | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Fords of Isen | Weathertop | Argonath

The rest of Arda:

Númenor | Dark Land | Aman | Valinor | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: "Annals of the Kings and Rulers"
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"
  3. The Return of the King, Book V, Chapter 6: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  4. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
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