News ID: 316291
Published: 1223 GMT September 14, 2021

Qazvin historical castles awaiting global registration

Qazvin historical castles awaiting global registration
A view of the Alamut Castle

Iranica Desk

A provincial official in Qazvin Province announced the completion of the dossier for the global registration of the Alamut Cultural Landscape, adding that the necessary preparations in the historical site have been made as well.

Deputy Head of Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department Ehsan Nurani said that more than 20 castles belonging to the Ismaili sect have been identified in the region so far, with Alamut and Semiran castles being the most prominent.

The Alamut state was founded by Hassan Sabbah after he took control of Alamut Castle in 1090 BCE, which marked the beginning of an era of Ismailism, known as the Alamut Period. The Ismailis’ command center was Alamut Castle.

In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Nurani said that by removing the obstacles, the registration process of the Alamut Cultural Landscape on the World Heritage List has been completed and the historical complex is on the waiting list for registration. The dossier includes the Alamut Castle and other natural monuments.

Nurani said that the Semiran Castle in the Tarom district is another historical castle in the province that is qualified for being on the prestigious list, adding that his department has prepared the dossier for registration of the historical monument on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

With 26 entries, Iran ranks among the top countries in the world in terms of the number of historical monuments and sites registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat is the last Iranian monument to have been inscribed on the global list on July 27. The cultural site covers 300 villages and, in terms of architecture and landscape, it is one of the most beautiful and presentable heritages in the world.

Nurani elaborated on the details of Alamut Castle, saying the historical fortress is located in Gazar Khan Village of the Alamut region.

It is believed that the original construction of this castle dates back to the pre-Islamic era, however, the evidence of the excavations shows that in different historical periods, including the Seljuk, Safavid, and Qajar periods, some changes were made to the monument, and several sections have been added to the fortress, he said.

The Alamut region was one of the main gathering places for the Ismailis. As the leader of the group, Hassan Sabbah was a famous figure with many legends about him. These two points make the castle more attractive to enthusiasts, Nurani explained.

Built over a cliff at an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, the castle leads to dangerous precipices. The only path to the building is from the northeast side and Mount Hoodkan. These features made it difficult for enemies to enter it in those days.


A view of the Semiran Castle, Qazvin Province, Iran


According to Nurani, another important castle used by the Ismailis for nearly two centuries was Semiran Castle. Dating back 1,000 years, the castle was constructed in the Ilkhanid Era and is among Qazvin Province’s prominent historical monuments.

Referring to Nasser Khosrow’s (1004-1088) travelogue about the greatness of this castle at the time, the official said that this complex includes a fortress, mosque, several mausoleum towers, and water reservoirs.

The deputy head of Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department also said that 1,459 historical works of the province are on Iran’s National Heritage List, including natural monuments, spiritual or intangible works, moveable works, and historical sections, hills, and buildings.

He said that 55 natural monuments are nationally registered, adding that 11 moveable works, four historical and cultural sections, 1,414 historical hills, and 253 historical buildings are the province’s monuments.



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