The Havens of Umbar have existed in Middle Earth for over 3,500 years. For the 300 years after its construction, Umbar was a good city ruled by the Numenoreans. It’s pinnacle of greatness was when Ar-Pharazon the Golden landed there and humbled Sauron. Numenor’s glory (and the Havens’ therein) ended when Ar-Pharazon was corrupted by Sauron into evil and attacked Aman, causing the island’s sinking into the sea and the residents of Umbar declining to become Black Numenoreans. For the 1,000 years after, Umbar was in their hands. Earnil I, King of Gondor, retook Umbar from the Black Numenoreans in 993th year of the Third Age. He built the Pillar of Victory, commemorating Sauron’s defeat at the hands of the Numenoreans. Gondor held Umbar for 500 years until the sons of Castamir flee to Umbar with most of Gondor’s after the Kin-Strife, becoming the Corsairs, and hold it for 400 more years. Umbar is retaken by Gondor for 30 years, but it is then lost again to Harad. The Corsairs once again begin plundering Gondor’s coasts. In 1420 Shire Reckoning (year 3020 of the Third Age), the Union of Numenor-the combined the strength of Gondor, Arnor, and the Shire-assaulted Umbar and took it by force from Kvesir, the Corsair king. As per the terms of surrender, the Corsair’s city remained the capital of Umbar, and the Havens, left to fall into decay by the sons of Castamir and later the Haradrim, were put under the charge of Viceroy_Vibiras. Kvesir later betrayed Numeor, and the capital was again restored to the Havens after 1,500 years of neglect.
The original inhabitants of Umbar, the Numenoreans, built the main walls of the city, the fortress of the Treasury, citadel and palace, the armory, the harbor, and many houses. The Black Numenoreans added more sinister defenses to the walls, as well as allowing a great many houses and parts of the harbor to fall into disrepair as their lifespan dwindled. Earnil’s conquering of Umbar brought it greatness not seen since the days of Ar-Pharazon because of the construction of the Pillar of Victory. Sadly, the Havens’ decline followed as it was continually attacked by the Haradrim, and the city at the mouth of the river draining the fertile part of Near Harad got more and more attention and construction because of its location. The Haradrim could sail up the river and into Umbar, so a defended stronghold at its mouth would deter an attack from that route. When the followers of Castamir came, they abandoned the decay infrastructure of the Havens, and focused on the city at the river mouth, calling it the City of the Corsairs. For the brief time the Gondor reconquered Umbar, they lived mostly in the Corsair’s city, but sent 500 men to dwell in the Havens. When Harad retook Umbar, it completely ransacked and looted the Havens, as it was the last refuge of the men of Gondor. The Havens continued to be looted for the next 100 years until it was sucked dry of all of its resources and wealth. When the Union of Numenor once again had control of Umbar, it paid the first attention to the city in over 1,000 years. The only intact part of the city was the outer wall. All of the rest of the structures were rubble, with a lake filling what has once the center of the residential area. The quagmire gate defenses with dried out and packed with debris. The crystal globe of the Pillar of Victory was found wedged at the bottom of a cave deep beneath the earth. Instead of filling in the lake, the Numenoreans built houses in groups on islands, with canals allowing for travel by boat, and bridges for travel by foot. The Pillar of Victory was rebuilt, its orb of light once again shining over the sea. The gate’s defenses were excavated, picked clean of the junk clogging them, moistened once again into quagmire, and poured back into their cavity. The large, important structures were rebuilt, the walls were repaired, and a seawall of mahogany was constructed. The harbor is once again full of ships, which haven’t graced its waters in over a millennium.