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Location of several of the Ismaili castles in the regions of Alamut and Rudbar.

List of the castles of the Nizari Ismaili state in Persia (Iran) and Syria.

The state had around 200 fortresses overall. Most of the Persian Ismaili castles were in Alborz mountains, in the regions of Daylaman (particularly, in Alamut and Rudbar; north of modern-day Qazvin) and Quhistan (south of Khurasan), as well as in Qumis. Most of the Syrian Ismaili castles were in Jabal Bahra' (Syrian Coastal Mountain Range).


Ismaili castles in Persia (Iran)
Name Persian name / Alternative spellings Location Condition Image Coordinates Notes
Alamut Castle الموت Alamut region Ruined, partially restored   36°26′40.63″N 50°35′9.58″E / 36.4446194°N 50.5859944°E / 36.4446194; 50.5859944 The main stronghold of the Ismailis.
Lambsar Castle لمبسر, لمسر, Lamasar, Lambasar, Lanbasar Rudbar, Rudbar region Ruined   Captured, refortified, and governed by Kiya Buzurg-Ummid. Probably the largest Ismaili castle.
Rudkhan Castle قلعه رودخان Daylam Mainly intact   37°03′52″N 49°14′21″E / 37.064357°N 49.239276°E / 37.064357; 49.239276
Maymun Diz میمون دژ, Maymundez, Meymundezh Alamut region Unknown, said to be west of Alamut. Destroyed by the Mongols in 654 AH / 1256 CE.
Samiran Castle قلعه سمیران Rudbar, Rudbar region
Nevizar Shah Castle قلعه نویسر شاه, Nevisar Shah Alamut region-
Gerdkuh گردکوه, دژ گنبدان, Girdkuh Qumis region, near Damghan 36°09′43″N 54°09′25″E / 36.16194°N 54.15694°E / 36.16194; 54.15694 The last Ismaili castle that was surrendered to Mongols.
Saru castles قلعه سارو, Soru Qumis region, near Semnan Mainly intact Two nearby related castles, Greater Saru and Lesser Saru, are recently attributed to the Ismailis.
Mo'menabad Castle فلعه مؤمن‌آباد Quhistan region, modern-day Darmian County
Qa'in Castle قلعه قائن Quhistan region, modern-day Qaen
Furg Castle قلعه فورگ, Furk Castle Quhistan region, modern-day Darmian County Mainly intact  
Kuh-e-Ghal'eh کوه قلعه Quhistan region, near Ferdows   The biggest fortress in south Khurasan, per Tarikh-i Jahangushay. Burned by the invading Mongols.
Khalanjan Castle قلعه خالنجان, خولنجان, شاهدژ, Khulanjan, Shah-Dezh Nehbandan County
Arrajan Castle ارجان Behbahan, Khuzestan
Anjudan انجدان modern Markazi Province
Sa’adat-kuh سعادت‌کوه
Mubarak-kuh مبارک‌کوه
Firuzkuh Castle (fa) فیروزکوه modern Tehran Province in ruins   A concentric castle
Shah-Dizh / Dizkuh شاهدژ / دژکوه Isfahan in ruins Peacefully captured and refortified by Ahmad ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Attash, recaptured and destroyed by the Seljuqs[1]


Ismaili castles in Syria
Name Arabic name / Alternative spellings Location Condition Image Coordinates Notes
Masyaf Castle قلعة مصياف Hama Partially restored   35°03′58″N 36°20′36″E / 35.06611°N 36.34333°E / 35.06611; 36.34333 (Masyaf Castle) The most famous Syrian Ismaili castle.
Abu Qubays قلعة أبو قبيس Hama Partially ruined   35°14′5.92″N 36°19′50.83″E / 35.2349778°N 36.3307861°E / 35.2349778; 36.3307861 Purchased from Iftikhar al-Dawla, the Fatimid governor of Jerusalem.
Qalaat al-Madiq قلعة المضيق, Qal'at al-Mudiq Hama Residential area   35°25′12″N 36°23′33″E / 35.42000°N 36.39250°E / 35.42000; 36.39250 (Qal'at al-Madiq) Briefly captured by Abu Tahir al-Sa'igh.
Aleika Castle قلعة العليقة, Uleyqa Tartus (in Jabal Bahra')   A concentric castle
Al-Qadmus Castle قلعة القدموس, Al-Qadmous; Kadmus Tartus (in Jabal Bahra') Ruined 35°06′05″N 36°09′40″E / 35.10139°N 36.16111°E / 35.10139; 36.16111 Purchased from Muslim forces.
Al-Kahf Castle قلعة الكهف Tartus (in Jabal Bahra') Partially ruined 35°02′27″N 36°04′58″E / 35.04083°N 36.08278°E / 35.04083; 36.08278 (Al-Kahf Castle) Probably the main residence of Rashid al-Din Sinan. He died in the castle in 1192. Ismailis had purchased the castle from Muslims in 1138.
Khawabi Castle قلعة الخوابي Tartus (in Jabal Bahra') Residential area   34°58′22″N 36°00′06″E / 34.97278°N 36.00167°E / 34.97278; 36.00167 (Qala'at Khawabi) Conquered by Baibars in 1273.
Rusafa Castle قلعة الرصافة Hama (in Jabal Bahra') Partially ruined 35°2′15″N 36°18′00″E / 35.03750°N 36.30000°E / 35.03750; 36.30000 (Qala'at al-Rusafa) Rebuilt by Sinan. Conquered by Baibars in 1271.
Qulay'ah Castle قلعة القليعة Tartus (in Jabal Bahra')
Sarmin Castle قلعة سرمين Idlib (in Jabal Bahra')
Maniqa Castle قلعة المنيقة Latakia (in Jabal Bahra')
Shaizar Castle قلعة شيزر‎ Hama (in Jabal Bahra') In ruins   Briefly occupied by the Assassins

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "DEZKŪH – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 5 October 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit