Alamut fortress is a magnificent and well-insulated castle northeast of Gazerkhan village built on a massive rock in an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level and leads to horribly stiff cliffs. Historian and geographer Hamdollah Mostofi wrote that the fortress was founded by da’i Hassan ibn Zeid al-Baqeri in 226 AH, and in the night of Rajab 6, 483 AH (September 10, 1090 AD) was overtaken by Hassan Sabbah, and now it is called Alamut or Hassan Sabbah fortress.
Experts who are painstakingly rebuilding the Bam citadel after an earthquake destroyed it a decade ago say Iran’s architectural masterpiece will never return to its past glory but are hopeful they will restore some of it. A thousand kilometres (600 miles) southeast of Tehran, the pre-Islamic desert citadel was the largest adobe monument in the world made of non-baked clay bricks. But it was reduced to rubble on December 26, 2003, when it was hit by a major quake that killed 26,000-32,000 people, according to various estimates.
Iran is a country split in two; the Alborz mountains north of Tehran divide the lower section of the Islamic Republic, made up largely of deserts, from the green and wet top corner bordering Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The four-hour drive from the capital Tehran to Rasht takes us through the range of peaks to the edge of the Caspian Sea, then inland to the hills on the outskirts of Rasht. As you move further north, the temperature drops and the air gets heavier as the humidity increases. The Caspian coast has long been an escape for Tehranis during the hotter months in the middle of the year.