Alamut Valley and Castles (April 2014)





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The Alamut Valley is located between Qazvin and the Caspian Sea in the heart of the Alborz mountains. In the 11th century Hasan Sabbah (~1050-1124), a leader of the Ismaili branch of Islam, converted the local population and founded the feared Hashshashin (or Assassins) group. With his group he built a series of amazing castles in the Alamut valley. The Hashshashin group successfully resisted many attacks by outsiders, but these castles were finally captured and razed by Mongol ruler Hulagu Khan in 1256, more than a century after Hasan Sabbah′s death. Today, little remains of these castles, but the Alamut Valley is still a fascinating place with beautiful scenery, a strong sense of remoteness, and extremely friendly and independent people. The novel ′Samarkand′ by Amin Maalouf gives an interesting story of Hasan Sabbah′s activities and his relationship with Persian philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam.




Pictures of Hasan Sabbah (left) and the siege of Alamut Castle by the Mongols (right). These pictures are posted in the guesthouse of Gazor Khan.




Views of the Alborz mountains and Alamut valley from the village of Gazor Khan and Alamut Castle.








The village of Gazor Khan seen from Alamut Castle.


A beekeeper and his hives in Gazor Khan.


Views of Alamut Castle seen from Gazor Khan ...


... from the other side of the cliff ...


... and from the top of the cliff.



Another part of the Alamut Castle at the very end of the cliff (left) and remains of water cisterns below the castle (right).


Remaining walls and cisterns of Lamiasar Castle.





Click the following links to see photos of other parts of the trip:

- Tehran,

- Qazvin,

- Kashan and around,

- Abyaneh,

- Yazd and around,

- Kerman and around.



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