One of the sites of the UNESCO : Masuleh village
About 1050 meters above sea level, where the air is thinner, cooler and less polluted there is the 1000 year old mountain village of Masuleh located right up to a beautiful green valley.
Masuleh is a city in the capital of Sardar-e Jangal District, in Fuman County, Gilan Province, Iran. Historical names for the city include Māsalar and Khortāb. It was founded in the 10th century AD.
The village is located approximately 60 km southwest of Rasht and 32 km west of Fuman and near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The first village of Masuleh was established around 1006 AD, 6 km northwest of the current city, and it is called Old-Masuleh (Kohneh Masuleh in Persian). People moved from Old-Masuleh to the current city because of pestilence and attacks from neighboring communities.
Masuleh structure is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Front yards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets.
No motor vehicles are allowed to enter Masuleh, simply because there is no room for them. The small streets and many stairs just wouldn’t make it possible for vehicles to enter.
The rare architecture of Masuleh is popularly known as “The yard of the building above is the roof of the building below”. Houses are mostly two stories (1st floor and ‘ground’ floor) made of adobe, rods and bole. A small living room, guest room, hall, toilet and balcony are usually found in the 1st floor.
Closets, barns and stables are located on the floor below, which are connected to the upper floor by several narrow steps inside the house. However, the small streets and many stairs simply also wouldn’t make it possible for vehicles to enter.
Notable for its traditional wooden buildings, clustered on the northern slopes of the valley, Masuleh is registered as National Cultural and Natural Heritage in Iran, one of the sites of the UNESCO.
The village is rich tangible and intangible heritage. The surrounding mountains provide many opportunities for trekking, climbing and other activities.
Masouleh-Rudkhan is the river passing through the village with a waterfall 200 meters away from the village. Many other springs are also found around Masouleh which is surrounded by dense forests from valley to mount. Fog is the predominate weather feature of Masouleh.
The native people of Masouleh speak Talesh, a Northwestern Iranian language spoken in the northern regions of Gilan, Ardebil and the southern regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
A heritage tourism site, Masouleh is visited by thousands of tourists every year with a population of 554 individuals from 180 families according to the 2006 census.
This beautiful complex remained from history with traditions, manners and customs, handicrafts, and many natural and historical sites is the host of thousands of eager guests and travelers every year.
If you’re searching for natural attractions beside the architecture, you won’t have to look far. Masuleh is surrounded by green mountains, mesmerizing jungles, waterfall and several rivers. Masouheh-Rood-Khan is the river passing through the city, with a waterfall located just 200 meters away from the village.
Some peaks around the village can be climbed. If you hike up in the hills, you will encounter the true shepherds and get the feeling of traveling back in time. The climate is bitterly cold in winter, with snow sometimes reaching three meters deep, but the climate in summer is extremely pleasant and bracing. Fog is the predominate weather feature of Masuleh.