“There,” wrote Tolkien, “like jewels sunk in the deep, shone glinting stars though sunlight was in the sky above.” It was a cosmic sign, if ever there was one. Durin compared the stars to a shimmering crown and so established his underground kingdom above the east-facing caves of Kheled-zâram.
Moria endured several ages before the “Fellowship” encountered it. In fact, Frodo and his band approached the dwarf kingdom from the West-gate, which was invisible from the outside. However, under certain conditions, the door would become visible when a secret password was uttered.