Thursday, April 16, 2015

Iran | Alamut | Assassins

Wandered by Alamut, the old stronghold of the Nizari Ismailis, better known in the Occident as the Assassins. The fortress was founded in 1090 by Hassan-i Sabbah and lasted until 1256, when it was finally conquered by Khülegü Khan, grandson of Chingis Khan. 
Elburz Mountains west of Alamut (click on photos for enlargements)
The village of Gazor Khan on the left and the Alamut massif on the right
Sign welcoming tourists to Gazor Khan
The Alamut Massif
When we arrived at the village we were told by local people that there had been a big snow storm the week before and the backside of the massif was still covered with deep drifts. They claimed it was impossible to reach the fortress at the top. We decided to try anyhow and started up the first of the staircases leading to the summit.  We had not gone far when a group of Iranian tourists, three men and two women from Tehran, came stumbling down. They confirmed that it was impossible to reach the fortress because of the snow. This was quite a disappointment, considering that visiting the ruins of Alamut was one of my main reasons for coming to Iran.   
The first staircase. Although it does not look so daunting in this photo, it was actually quite treacherous. Above this staircase, the back side of the mountain was completely drifted shut.
The massif of Alamut in the foreground
Another view of the massif. The fortress buildings can just be seen at the top
Another view of the fortress at the top of the massif
Another view of the fortress at the top of the massif (middle of photo). The column-like structures on the snow covered ridge behind the massif look manmade, but actually they are natural rock formations. 

1 comment:

  1. They must have used pigeons to communicate with the townfolk below. That is a daunting climb.

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