🕒 4 minute read
There is no doubt that one of the most impressive historical sites of Qazvin is Alamut castle (locally called Assassins castle) that is located in Alamut valley.
There are several stories about history of this castle but most of archaeologists are of the opinion that this castle dates back to ancient days of Persia, particularly to Median Empire but the golden age of this castle is when it’s been reused by Hasan Sabah and his followers in order to have a place where he could promote Ismailia religion.
Alamut castle is now an archaeological site and is highly recommended to those who are interested in history and architecture. Even those who are interested in trekking tours would rather start from this valley toward another destinations.
In regard with history of this castle;
it’s been mentioned Mr. Hasan Sabah has been living here for 35 years and all this complex has been competed over the history. What archaeologist found is there were several connected castles toward the main castle that is today remained from all of them.
In another way, during Safavid dynasty in 17th century, this castle was not only a living palace for everyone but also was a prison too for those princesses who were guilty. At the foot of the castle, people might have thought how they reached up or built a palace up there, as there are about 400 steps that may slow down several travelers.
But by reaching up the castle, they will be exposed to a spectacular view of the valley with cherry blossoms and viewing the Andej river. This makes all travelers feel blessed and will forget the difficulties of climbing up here.
This part of the complex has been built on top of the huge rock with approximately 2160 m from sea level and due to protection of the castle its entrance is located in northeastern face, however, from other sides there are huge valleys too that makes this castle unreachable.
It’s well noted that history of the castle dates back to Seljuk era when Hasan Sabah was abandoned by Sultan Malek Shah. In another way, when he was abandoned by Seljuk monarchs, he started to make his own religion against govt religion, however, people are of the opinion that having the religion of Ismailia was the reason of being fired by Seljuk monarchs.
As soon as he conquered this castle, he named it Hasan Sabah fort and this castle was expanded to several in different directions and lasted for 40 years until Hulaku khan the founder of Mongolian dynasty took it and burned it after a little while and it never used as a palace anymore and turned to be an Exile.
Back and forth, it’s been the palace of the Ismailia followers or the prison of the kings until 19th century during Qajar dynasty that several illegal excavations were done by locals in order to find Hasan Sabah’s treasures.
In regards with the name of the castle several stories are made by people from 8th century CE. Alamut in farsi language consists two words of Al & Amut that is translated into Eagle Nest. In fact, they meant those who reach this castle, will gain the highest level of education in this religion.
this section of the complex consists two upper and lower sides with about 120 m length and 35 m width. There are several watching towers around it and today only 3 of them are maintained and are built on natural part of the rocks.
From the beginning of entry, you will be exposed to a corridor with approximately 6 m length that is the only entrance of the palace. In eastern side of the palace, there are several rooms for guards and their families despite stables for their horses or steeds.
Water supply is amazingly diged out and has become one of the most interesting reservoir systems of Iran. Generally, water comes from a spring outside the castle and its been led into the castle by some underneath channels.
Stairs of the castle are added in 19th century in the moat side in order to reach the castle easier. There is a tiny graveyard in western flank of the castle that looks like its been used in 5th century CE.
However, there is not a certain documentary about the funeral ceremonies but people are of the opinion that many of the dead people are buried with their own belongings. This could have been the reason locals started excavating illegally in this side of the castle over the centuries.
Library of castle:
there are several stories are mentioned about the library of Alamut castle and unfortunately, its been demolished by mongols when they invaded Persia back in 7th century CE. But other historians well described about this place that consists over than 400,000 particular books in different genres. This will prove Ismailia religion was playing an important role in Iranian culture and civilizations.
As travel consultants, we would highly recommend visiting this castle and surrounding in 2 separate days from your schedule to visit Qazvin as this is a nice trekking plan toward the top of the castle. Despite visiting Alamut valley, you will have a chance to visit Castle of Garmarud that is from the same period and well maintained.