Alamut Castle, Alamot Fort

Sheikh Ahmad Jam Shrine
May 19, 2021
Alimestan Forest, Alimastan
May 20, 2021

Alamut Castle, Alamot Fort

Alamut Castle is one of the tourist attractions of Qazvin and one of the most important historical castles in Iran, which is considered an ideal place for those interested in history and archeology. The fort was the seat of Hassan Sabah, the founder of the Ismaili and anti-Seljuk government in the 5th century AH, who became famous for his military activities. Alamut Castle is not only a spectacular historical attraction; It has beautiful nature that can be attractive to any tourist. Only those who climb the stairs of Alamut and taste the hard way can understand the magic of this castle. In the continuation of this article, you will learn more about Alamut Castle.

 

Alamut Qazvin Castle

In Iranian history, the name Alamut is associated with the Ismaili sect and Hassan Sabah as its leader, and it is said that Hassan Sabah lived in Alamut Castle for 35 years and was a leader. According to historical documents, in the Safavid era, this castle was used as a prison; However, archeological excavations show that this place was not just a prison and was the residence of people of a certain social status.

Alamut Castle, which has an area of ​​20,000 square meters, was registered in the list of national monuments of Iran in 2002. The castle is located on a rocky cliff, for the comfort of tourists, stone steps have been installed at the entrance.

Most tourists sit on the ground or on the platforms when they reach the entrance to the castle. There is a sign in this place which, while introducing Hassan Sabah, ‌ calls it the Lord of Alamut. The whole castle is covered with tarpaulin roofs and in some parts explanations are provided; However, it is forbidden to enter the inner parts of the castle.

Due to the location of the castle at a high altitude and the beautiful landscape around it, tourists are busy taking photos and taking pictures in places that have a better view. From the top of Alamut Castle, you can see the vast plain of Gazarkhan, Alamut Valley and Andaj River.

Because tourists have endured a lot of hardship to climb the mountain, in addition to relaxing in different parts of the castle, they enjoy the good weather and the surrounding scenery.

 

Where is Alamut Castle?

Alamut Castle is located on a high cliff at 2,163 meters above sea level in the northeast of Gazer Khan village in the Alamut region of Qazvin, and to reach it you have a winding path that takes more than an hour; However, it has a very beautiful view in spring. In addition, you have to climb the steps of this impassable rock so that you can visit this historical structure after about 45 minutes of mountaineering.

 


Distance of Alamut Castle to Tehran

The distance from Alamut Castle to Tehran is about 240 km, which takes four hours, and if you have gone to Qazvin, you have a distance of 105 km, which will take you 2.5 hours; Finally, you can climb this historic castle, which has been shining like a jewel on top of a mountain for years.

 

Entrance to Alamut Castle

Alamut Castle overlooks the precipice on all four sides, and due to its defensive structure, its only entrance is at the northeast side. In those days, the castle was guarded by digging a moat and building a watchtower.

 

Alamut Castle route

If you are going to Alamut Castle from Tehran, you should go to Qazvin city via Karaj-Qazvin freeway. Before reaching Qazvin, you will see Alamut side road, which is 85 km away from the nearest city, Moallem-Kalayeh; This route is very difficult to cross and mountainous.

At 10 km from Moallem-kalayeh, there is a side road to Lake Evan, which is one of the sights of Qazvin province, and in addition to swimming and boating, tourists can camp here. To reach the historic castle of Alamut, 10 km after Moallem Kalayeh, you will reach the intersection of Garmarud and Alamut. Alamut Road, despite all its beauties, which is part of the forest and the rest of the mountains, has a winding path.

 

History of Alamut Castle

When Hassan Sabah was expelled from the court of the Seljuk emperor, he went to Egypt to learn the principles of the Ismaili religion. After returning to Iran, he traveled all over the country to find a suitable place for his activities, which eventually selected the Alamut region. There are various narrations about the time of construction of the castle; However, it can be considered as belonging to the beginning of the Islamic period. It is said that when Hassan Sabah captured this fort, he paid the price of three thousand dinars of gold to the ousted ruler.

 

Hamdollah Mostofi has said about Alamut Castle:

Hassan Sabah captured this fort in 486 AH and now it is also called “Hassan Sabah Fortress”. The fort’s main reputation has been due to Hassan Sabah’s military-security activities.

In 654 AH, the Mongol Holakukhan captured the fort and subsequently set fire to its library, demolishing the fortress and turning it into an exile. Later, some Ismaili followers recaptured the fort; Although they did not last long. During the Safavid era, constructions were carried out in this place and it became a government prison.

 

During the Qajar period, Alamut Castle was destroyed and its bricks were used for construction. Excavations to find the treasure also destroyed it, and it can be said that numerous natural and unnatural events went hand in hand so that the remnants of this castle are very few. It is interesting to note that archaeologists previously thought that this was just a prison; Gradually, however, signs of the lives of prominent figures and high-ranking community officials were found in the area.

Experts believe that the existence of valuable buildings with tiled decorations in this place is probably related to the tomb of Hassan Sabah, and his followers tried to rebuild it. In addition, archaeologists have uncovered more than 100,000 pottery pieces from the area.

 

The name of Alamut Castle

The name of Alamut Castle consists of two parts, “Al” and “Amut”, the first of which is derived from “Alooh” or “Alah” meaning eagle and the second means learning. According to beliefs, one of the kings of Dailami was informed about the location of the place by an eagle and thought of building a castle in it and named it “Eagle’s Nest”. However, some believe that “Amut” in the language of the people of Gil and Dilam means “learned” and as a result, the word Alamut is interpreted as “learned eagle”. Ibn Athir considers the meaning of the word Alamut to be “teaching the eagle”.

 

Alamut Castle Architecture

Alamut Castle is actually composed of two castles above and below, the walls of which are made according to the condition of the rocks, and therefore their width is different in different parts. This castle has a shape similar to a sleeping camel and its length is about 120 meters and its width is between 10 to 35 meters. Materials used in this place include stone, brick, tile, wooden piles, pottery and gypsum mortar.

Of the four towers of the castle, three towers are still standing on the east, north and south sides. As we said, the only entrance to the castle is at the end of the northeast corner and a little lower than the east tower. In this place, a tunnel has been dug in the heart of the rocks, which is 6 meters long and 2 meters wide and high. Through this tunnel, tourists can see the south tower of the castle and the southwest wall. To the south, a room has been dug in the heart of the cliff, possibly for guarding. There are also two rooms in the northwestern part of the castle, in one of which there is a small water hole.

To the east of the castle, there was a residence for the guards of the castle and their families. In addition, there are several animal stalls, three small reservoirs and a number of rooms in the eastern part of Alamut Castle, which have been almost destroyed.

To meet the water needs of the inhabitants of the castle, reservoirs have been dug, which is one of the most interesting reservoirs in Iran. In the water supply system of the castle, water was brought into the castle with the help of a series of mounds from springs at the foot of the mountain north of the castle.

There is a field between the eastern and western parts of the castle, and a wall around it has caused this area to be divided into two parts.

On the southern slope of the mountain, a ditch two meters wide and 50 meters long was dug and filled with water coming from inside the castle so that there was no way to penetrate Alamut Castle.

Stone steps were installed at the entrance of the castle in the Qajar era, and before that, mules were used for this route. There is a pond eight meters long and five meters wide in this complex, which has been dug by hand and is still full of water with rain. Another interesting part of the castle is the old vine in the southwestern part of the pond, which is said to have been planted by Hassan Sabah himself.

There is an old cemetery called “Asbeh Kalechal” in the western part of the castle; Meanwhile, in the adjacent hill, you can see the remains of several brick kilns.

 

Stay in Alamut

To stay, you can go to Moallem Kalayeh, which has both pristine nature and beautiful alleys, and is located between Alamut Castle and Lake Evan, with which it is 9 and 19 km away, respectively. Some locals have built small suites in their homes that they rent to tourists.

Gazer Khan village is the closest point to Alamut, where you can use its suites and rented rooms. 

Also, several eco-lodges have been built in different villages of Alamut region, and by choosing them, in addition to the sweet accommodation experience, you can also enjoy the taste of delicious local food.

 

The best time to visit Alamut Castle

Due to the mountainous and cold region of Alamut, it is preferable to choose late spring and early summer for your trip, as the weather is mild in the region. The nature of the region is also covered in green in these seasons and its beauty is doubled. However, keep in mind that Alamut nights are cool even in summer and having warm clothes is a necessity of this trip.

 


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