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Alamut

Tehran Ahvaz Alamut Azerbaijan Bam Bandar-e Anzali The Caspian Coastline Esfahan Hamadan Kerman Kermanshah Kurdistan Luristan Qom Rey Sultanieh Yazd

Iran City Guides - Alamut

Alamut

  • fortress city of the Assassins
  • situated in the peaks of the Alborz mountains
  • 30km from Qazvin
  • fortresses date from the 11th Century

Located near Qazvin in the Alborz mountains, the fortress of Alamut is famous for being the one time stronghold of the mysterious Ismaili sect, also known in the West as the Assassins. Legend has it that the strategic location of the castle was revealed to a Daylami king by an eagle hence the name Alamut which means either "Eagles Nest" or "Revealed by an Eagle".



The Assassins are associated with Alamut, Iran

14th century painting of an assassination

Whatever the truth, Alamut was built in 860 and infiltrated by Hassan Sabbah of the Ismailis in 1090. A bloodless coup established Alamut as the focus of Ismaili opposition to the ruling Seljuk dynasty. Hulagu Khan succeeded in taking the stronghold in 1256 and destroyed many buildings including the famous library. Alamut was restored under the Safavids who used it as a prison until the 18th century after which it was abandoned to looters and the elements.

Little remains of the once formidable structure except the crumbling ruins of two courtyards, living spaces, food storerooms, meeting halls and a mosque. Visitors can however appreciate the dramatic mountain location and the traditional village life of nearby Gazorkhan. Accommodation is either camping by nearby Lake Evan or shared rooms in a guest house. Access is by 4-wheel drive vehicle and then light trekking. An experienced guide is recommended.

Alamut, Iran

The capture of Alamut by the Mongols in 1256



Access - Getting To Alamut

There are frequent buses from Qazvin to Tehran (3 hours) with fewer buses to Hamadan, Kermanshah, Rasht and Mashhad.
There are also trains to Tehran, Zanjan and Tabriz.

Will Yong and Kazem Vafadari


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