Valley of the Assassins

Alamut castle, Valley of the Assasins, Northern Iran

Alamut castle, Valley of the Assasins, Northern Iran

During the 10th century, an open version of Islam appeared on the Alamute mountains of Northern Iran, between the Caspian sea and Alborz mountains.   Its followers were called Ismaili and they were ferocious fighters living in fortified castles on Alamute vallues. They were destroyed military and,  as this was not enough, a myth was created about them: It was said that they were intoxicated with  hashish and presented in such state to maidens in secret gardens, made ferocious and ready to die, and then were sent to kill or kidnap – hash-ishiyun, “hashish-smokers” – or, as it would become know to the west, “assassins”


Alamut valley



L1006919Alamut castle


L1006904Lamiasar castle, Alamut valley


L1006955Alamut valley

Returning from the ascent of Alamut castle and its 700 steps – a young Iranian hands over a set of postcards. Nothing unusual here – people selling postcards outside one of the ost touristsic sites of a country. But – wait, there is a catch – after insisting one, two , three, four , five times, the man refuses to receive any money… Iran is the first country I have been where one has to insist (again and again) to pay the taxi driver or the tourist shop seller.


  1. Reply
    admin October 29, 2016

    Long time no see…indeed! Εκπληκτικές φωτογραφίες και περιγραφές! Μπράβο σου βρε Χρίστο … και περισσότερο επειδή ποτέ δεν εφησυχάζεις .)

  2. Reply
    admin October 29, 2016

    Thank you for these awe-inspiring images. I was reading Freya’s Stark’s book about this area (1934) surfed and came up with your photos. She went on mule, one of the first of The Europeans to go there. “People who know nothing about these things will tell you that there is no edition of pleasure in having a landscape to yourself. But this is not true. It is a pleasure exclusive, unreasoning, and real: it has some of the quality and some of the intensity of love: it is a secret shared: a communion which an intruder desecrates: and to go to the lonely and majestic places of the world for poor motives, to turn them to cheap advertisement or flashy journalism jars like a spiritual form of prostitution on your true lover of the hills. The solitary rapture must be disinterested.”

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