Black Pit - Black Chasm - Mines of Moria - Dwarrowdelf - Hadhodrond - Phurunargian

Useful Information

Misty Mountains near Khazad-dûm.
Location: Azanulbizar, above Kheled-zaram, Misty Mountains. Inside the three mountains Barazinbar, Zirak-zigil, and Bundushathur. Northwest of Lórien.
Open: closed to the public
Fee: your live, at least
Classification: mithril mines SmileFictitious Cave
Light: uper parts: natural light, lower parts: none.
Dimension: L=100,000 m, VR=?
Guided tours: ask Gandalf
Bibliography: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1966): The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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early First Age Durin made his dwelling above Kheled-zaram, the beginning of Khazad-dûm.
late First Age the population of Khazad-dûm increased, as many Dwarves from the Ered Luin moved here after the ruin of Nogrod and Belegost.
early Second Age mithril was discovered.
Second Age a tunnel was built to Eregion making it the largest of all Dwarven creations.
Second Age during the War between the Elves and Sauron, the gates of Khazad-dûm were closed.
1980 T.A. while extending their mithril-mine, the Dwarves relased a great terror beneath Barazinbar, called Durin's Bane.
2790 T.A. Thror was killed by orcs in the city, the start of the war between Orcs and Dwarves.
2799 T.A. the battle of Azanulbizar ended the war with a victory of the Dwarves.
2989-2994 T.A. an approach to recolonize Khazad-dûm failed, the dwarves were killed by orcs.
JAN-3019 T.A. the Fellowship of the Ring crossed the Misty Mountains through Khazad-dûm.


Kheled-zaram, the mirror lake.

Khazad-dûm, the mithril mines of Moria were founded by Durin (Durin the Deathless), the eldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. Early in the First Age he came to Azanulbizar, and made his dwelling above Kheled-zaram, the mirror lake. Although founded as cave dwellings (the name Khazad-dûm translates Dwarf-mansions), the discovery of many different ores and precious minerals made the whole system both, home and source of living for the dwarves.

The main halls of Khazad-dûm are located close to the entrance at Azanulbizar. Many huge hall, filled with life and light from deep light shafts. From here numerous adits were built. Up to provide light, air, and drinking water and to allow access to several lookouts all over the mountains face. To the east, north and west for additional storage room and to allow easy access to the countries on the other side of the Misty Mountains. Some of those entrances were public known, some of them were secret. All of them were marked with mithril intarsia and speech controled. And of course they dug downwards in search of all kinds of ore and minerals.

Barazinbar as seen from Hulsten.

The dwarves became really rich when mithril aka true-silver was found here. This extremely rare metal was usefull for numerous purposes. Beneath its bright brilliance, which made it valuable for making jewelry, it is very resistant against any kind of weathering. Tools and jewelry made of this metall lasted extremely long without any sight of ageing.

But it had also mystic strength and hardness, which made it more resistant than steel. An alloy with other metalls was used for coats of mail which were extremely lightweight, resistant and durable. The same coat of mail was used for centuries without any visible abrasion.

In search for this valuable metal the dwarves dug deeper and deeper, building the Endless Stair, a spiral staircase winding down from the highest peak of the mount Zirak-zigil to the deepest dungeon of Khazad-dûm. And there they reached caverns, built by nameless creatures, older than elves and gnawing on the bones of the world. They freed the Balrog, an evil, slimy creature which catches fire on fresh air without burning down. This creature was called Durin's Bane and caused the dwarves to leave Khazad-dûm.