Alamut Castle

May 9, 2018

The ancient, legendary region of Alamut set upon the slopes of the elevated Central Alborz Mountain on the brink of the huge valley in Shahrud has gone through many historic ups and downs and is now a site for not only sightseers but for researchers and world explorers.

A set of castles and fortresses alongside pristine nature and marvelous scenery of Ovan Lake and adjacent fields make it a top tourist attraction in Qazvin Province.

With a great role in the history of the country, the Alamut Castle was a major headquarter for the Ismaili. Built in 841 by Hassan Ben Zeyd Alavi from the Alawites in former Tabarestan, which encompassed present Mazandaran Province besides parts of Gilan and Qazvin Provinces, it was dominated by Hassan Sabbah in 1090. The stronghold was famed for its stone ditches, overwhelming cliffs round the castle, water supplying channels, as well as storehouses which kept the dwellers safe and secure against enemy’s attacks.

The castle owes its fame to 2 main things: one its residents and another its special geographic location. With valleys on its four directions, the castle is unconquerable.

Mentioned in the European classic literature several times, Alamut is imaginably one of the most prominent castles in the world.

Representing intermingled history and myth, the castle’s name is derived from the eagle’s nest; which implies that it was out of reach. It is said that an Alawite ruler discovered the location atop a mountain by his trained eagle and commanded to construct a castle over there. Later on, it was conquered by Hassan Sabbah, a Shiite follower, who had intelligently penetrated the castle and gained power against the Seljuk. That’s why the castle is also known as Hassan’s Castle. He successfully turned it into a mighty, formidable fortress. In the assault by Hulagu Khan, the Mongol ruler, it was set on blast and highly damaged. Restorations in the Safavid era were incomplete and the castle suffered harms over the Qajar era as well.

The national heritage site is visited by tourists who come to experience a journey of no like; they will be astonished by interwoven history and nature.

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