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"
Rise and Decline
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 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.
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 ("...in 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.
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.
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.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.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||奧斯力亞古斯|
|Kazakh||Осгіліатһ (Cyrillic) Osgiliath (Latin)|
|Serbian||Озгилијат (Cyrillic) Ozgilijat (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Осгилатҳ (Cyrillic) Osgiliath (Latin)|
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