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Ali Majdfar | all galleries >> Fortresses in Iran >> Alamut Fortress > Alamut Fortress
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24-MAY-2007 Ali Majdfar

Alamut Fortress

Alamut (Persian: دژ الموت) was once a mountain fortress in the arid hills by the Elburz mountains, south of the Caspian Sea, close to Gazor Khan, near Qazvin, about 100 km from present-day Tehran in Iran. Only ruins remain of this fortress today.
The fortress was built in 840 at an elevation of 2,100 m on ruins of Sassanid castle. It was built in a way that had only one passable artificial entrance that wound its way around the cliff face (the one natural approach, a steep gravel slope, was too dangerous to use); thus making conquering the fortress extremely difficult. The fort had an unusual system of water supply. The top was extremely narrow and long — perhaps 400 meters long, and no more than 30 meters wide in any place, and usually less.
In 1090 the fortress was infiltrated and occupied by the powerful Ismaili sect of Shia Islam (known to the West by the nickname Hashshashin or Assassins), and was then fabled for its gardens and libraries. The ruins of 23 other fortresses remain in the vicinity.
The fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia. The fortress itself was impregnable, but Ruknuddin Khor-shah surrendered it without a real fight, in the vain hope that Hulagu would be merciful.


Canon EOS 20D ,Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS
1/60s f/16.0 at 17.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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meekam tam10-Feb-2011 14:14
Beautiful historical site with great description,Ali! V
Lennart Waara03-Feb-2011 09:45
Great story and a very fine picture to go with it!
Bryan Murahashi03-Feb-2011 05:14
A great photo of this rich historic fortress. V
Guest 03-Feb-2011 04:07
Thanks for sharing this magnificent and historical place! Your ancestors have left so much behind to be proud of! ~V
Guest 30-Jan-2011 22:49
for all who are wondering what happened, is that the mongols promised that they would not spill any blood if they (the assasins) would surrender.

Once they did surrender, they were buried alive... thuss the mongols indeed dit not spill their blood.

Jay 23-Feb-2010 03:26
According to what I've read on the subject Hulagu's mercy extended as far as Ruknuddin's usefulness. Once he was no longer a asset the war he tried to make a deal for his life but ultimatly failed. Some books I've read say he was killed gruesomely.
Smufdawg 28-Jan-2009 16:16
Very good
Guest 02-Jul-2008 04:01
Brilliant caputre and intersting story. I am still curious whether the Halagu Khan was really merciful to Ruknuddin or not?.
Al Tahir 20-Apr-2008 06:15
It is one of the great Shia Imami Ismaili Al-Batinya Castle. The Ismaili of Alamut are still surviving under their leader descending of family of HOLY PROPHET MOHAMMAD (pbuh) is AGA KHAN. The story of Ismaili Muslim are amazing. I love their Fad'ia and doctrine. In future, Inshallah I will meet all the Ismaili castles of Assassins. o(-_*)9
Zaid Kurdi07-Jun-2007 18:43
Amazing shot and details........V.
QUERIDO07-Jun-2007 18:16
excellent shot, vote
Bill Paige07-Jun-2007 17:58
I want to work the sites you are discribing.
Guest 07-Jun-2007 17:45
interesting and thanks for telling.
Gerard Koehl07-Jun-2007 16:20
Très joli vestige en plein chantier. V
Paco López07-Jun-2007 15:44
Beautiful image, Alí!!! Vote!
Fong Lam07-Jun-2007 12:20
A strong fortress that still stands today. A great capture, Ali ~V~
laine8207-Jun-2007 11:51
Totally amazing that it still stands today after all those many years. Thank you for the history & opportunity to see the fortress, Ali. V
Robyco07-Jun-2007 10:33
Great story, but even better POV (V)
Marjan Schavemaker07-Jun-2007 09:39
Interesting picture and information, Ali! -V-
Ceya07-Jun-2007 08:34
Beautiful capture! V
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