Meet with the Prince of Persia under starry night of Alamut! Featured as the story location of 2010 movie Prince of Persia, the giant rock in this view is the location of the legendary Alamut castle in real world. The fortress was first built in the 9th century at altitude of 2160 m in Alamut valley in Alborz Mountains of northern Iran. The word Alamut means “the Eagle’s Nest” as the rock stands high over the valley. The fortress was built in a way that had only one passable artificial entrance that wound its way around the cliff face, thus making conquering the fortress extremely difficult. The top was extremely narrow and long — perhaps 400 meters long and less than 30 meters wide. In the 12th and 13th the fortress was a center for Ismailis or Assassins, and for decades it was their most important center with a large library and education center. As the armies of Genghis Khan swept the homeland of famous Persian astronomer and mathematician Nasir al-Din Tusi, he came to Assassins and lived in several of their castle for years, including the Alamut castle and did some of his most notable work and observations from here. The fortress was finally destroyed on 1256 by Mongolian forces but Tusi survived and was invited by the Mongol leader to be the astronomer of the court where he designed and made the leading observatory of his time in Maraqha. His instrument designs were later used in Samarkand observatory and influenced Tycho Brahe in the Vein Island. In this view the Summer Milky Way extends from the light dome of capital Tehran, over 100 km away, toward the dark starry sky. © Oshin Zakarian



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