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Alamut Castle



Alamut Castle



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I think you all know Assassins (Hashshashins), the worst terrorists in the history, those who believed murdering as a religious duty, the open history  of the Assassins began in 1090, when hassan-e Sabbah and his allies captured the hill fortress of Alamut near Qazvin, Iran.

Alamut was a mountain fortress located between Qazvin province and the Caspian Sea in the heart of the Alborz Mountain, approximately 100 km (60 miles) from present-day Tehran. The name means “Eagle’s Nest”. The origins of the Alamut fortress can be traced back to the Justanid ruler, Vahsudan, who, during a hunting trip, he chose the site for the construction of a fortress, which was called “Aluh Amu[kh]t” likely meaning “Eagle’s Teaching” or “Nest of Punishment”.


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The founder of Assassins was an adventurer by the name of Hassan Sabbah also known as “old man of the mountains”, who was exiled from Persian court and took refuge in the grim tangle of Alborz Mountains, which stretch in a great arc around the southern end of Caspian Sea. Whilst wandering with his tiny band of retainers in these hospitable mountains, Hassan Sabbah stumbled across the Assassin valley, a huge fertile gash in the very heart of the sierra, which soar upward like jagged ramparts on every side of hidden valley.



Hassan Sabbah took upon himself the title of “Sheik el Jebel “, or “Lord of the Mountains” Hassan Sabbah was no ordinary man, and follower to believe that their Sheik was indeed one of the prophets who held the gift of immortality for faithful. Even the mention of the name “Hassan-e-Sabbah” could terrorize the Caliphs in Baghdad and Cairo. Alamut Castle was his headquarters impenetrable fortresses but the Assassins had many fearful fortresses along the Alborz Mountains. Under the leadership of Hassan-e Sabbah, Alamut became the site of intense activity for the Shi’a Nizari Ismai’li along with a smaller subgroup known as the Assassins, between 1090 and 1256 A.D.

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In 1256, Ismaili control of the fortress was lost to the invading Mongols and its famous library holdings were destroyed when the castle’s library was condemned to be burned by Ata-alik Juvayni, a servant of the Mongol court. After the Mongol destruction, the castle was of only regional significance, passing through the hands of various local powers. Today it lies in ruins, but because of its historical significance, it is being developed by the Iranian government as a tourist destination.






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The only entrance path allowing way to the fortress is located in northeastern part, few meters below the eastern tower of the fortress. The entrance is a tunnel roughly 6 meters length, 2 meters width and 2 meters height carved into the rock. A great feature of the fortress is its aqueduct system. The ducts of 10 centimeters diameter carried water to the fortress from Koldar spring nearby which had been stored in stone-carved pools. In southwestern part of the fortress in a very steep slope, such a pool is carved on the rock, roughly 5 meters in 8 meters dimension, which has never been without water.






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