Alamut Valley and Assassins Castle
An Iranian ruler named Marzuban went to a haunting trip. During the trip he saw an eagle flying over a mountain and then sat on the peak. As he was following the eagle with his eyes, he realized the strategic value of the location and took the eagle as an omen. That was the moment he decided to build a castle there and named it Alamut, meaning the eagle’s nest. However, after a while the mysterious murderers captured Alamut castle as their base.
Alamut castle, also known as Castle of Hassan by the locals, is located in the Northeast of the Gazer Khan village in Qazvin province. It was built over a 200-meter high cliff. This castle was the base of the intense activity of Ismailis, also known as Assassins, under the leadership of Hassan Sabbah (the old man of the mountain). He built this group to fight against the government of Abbasid and Seljuk Empire. The strategic position and the design of the castle made it an undefeatable castle which was suitable for the Assassins. It said that the Ismailis believed that Hassan Sabbah can show them the path to the heaven and they can see the garden of Eden. This was the reason that they did everything their ruler asked them to do. They also played an important rule in the Crusades war.
The castle is enormous and that is why it is divided into a western and eastern part. At the top of the mountain, there is a tunnel with an approximate length of 6 meters and a height of 2 meters. Another interesting thing about the castle is the existence of a pond in one of the rooms of the northwestern part of it which gets refilled by itself after getting empty.
After the invasion of the Mongols and by the order of Hulagu Khan, the castle was burned in the fire. Then, at the ruling time of Qajar era, they started digging different parts of the castle to find the Alamut treasures which damaged this monument a lot. Now it is mostly ruined but still, has a lot to offer. In order to get there, you have to take fairly hard climbing route.. As soon as you get there and see the mysterious castle and the picturesque landscape beneath, you will see that it was absolutely worth it.