It’s not very often that a monarch willingly relinquishes his own castle, but Ghazanfar Ali Khan II, a descendant of the ruling Mirs (or Kings) of Hunza in Pakistan’s mountainous north, believed that his ancestral home, the Baltit Fort, would be better off in the hands of someone who knew how to take care of it. Seven hundred years’ worth of earthquakes, avalanches and neglect had turned it into a rubble-strewn heap, prompting the Mir to turn it over to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in 1989. The charitable foundation embarked on a restoration, which took six years and more than $3 million—and the results are stunning. Taken apart stone by stone and rebuilt using both modern and traditional methods, the fort has risen from its ruins. New foundations stabilize the ancient walls, and polymer mesh strengthens the façades that so magnificently overlook the Hunza Valley. In the 1920s, a British traveler described Baltit as “the most amazing fortress ever built.” Today, it would be fitting to describe it as the most amazing fort ever rebuilt.