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masouleh Masouleh

About Masouleh

Māsūleh, (Masoleh and Masouleh) is a city in and the capital of Sardar-e Jangal District, in Fuman Country, Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 554 individuals from 180 families.

Historical names for the city are Māsalar and Khortāb. It was founded in the 10th century AD. The village is 1,050 meters above sea level in Alborz mountain range, near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The village itself has a difference in elevation of 100 meters.

Although it has been written that the community was established around 10 AD, the province of Gilan has a long history. The first village of Masuleh was established around 1006 AD, 6 km northwest of the current city, and it is called Old-Masuleh. People moved from Old-Masuleh to the current city because of pestilence and attacks from neighboring communities.

Masouleh-Rood-Khan is the river passing through the city, with a waterfall located just 200 meters away from the village. It's cut-off by snow during the winter months. Fog is the predominant weather feature of Masouleh.

Masuleh architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masouleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only city in Iran with such a prohibition. However, the small streets and many stairs simply wouldn't make it possible for vehicles to enter. The spectacular architecture of Masouleh is popularly known as "The yard of the building above is the roof of the building below". Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masouleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog. Buildings are mostly two stories (1st floor and 'ground' floor) made of adobe, rods and bole. A small living room, big guest room, winter room, hall, WC and balcony are usually found in 1st floor. A cold closet, barn and stable are located on the floor below, which are connected to the upper floor by several narrow steps inside the building.

There are four main local communities at the city named: "Maza-var" (meaning beside the Mosque) at the south, "Khana-var" (beside homes) at the East, "Kasha-sar" (stretched on top) at the North, and, "Assa-mahala" (Assad community) at the West. Apparently, down town is the Market (Bazaar) area and also the main mosque of the city, named "O-ne-ben-ne Ali" (Awn Ibn Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn. Abi Taleb) built in 969 AD.

 Iran’s historical city Masouleh is to be announced as UNESCO Historical Heritage Site in September 2015. 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. Although the town has been entered in the National Heritage List of Iran in 1975 but the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has not finalized its registration in the list of World Heritage Sites yet.

Masouleh-6 Masouleh


Getting There

Masouleh is approximately 60 km southwest of Rasht and 32 km west of Fuman. Minibus or Car from Fuman which is reachable by the same mean of transport from Rasht. There are daily buses from Rasht to Tehran. There is also a direct bus connection from Tehran to Fuman and back but it might be harder to find.

Culture and Attraction

Masouleh as a national relic is an obvious type of the historic habitats of mankind, which has been registered as No.1090 in national relics list of country in solar1354. This historic town, during its 1000 age, is an obvious type in fantastic harmony between nature and human. It is located at farthest end of damp Caspian climate region. It is situated in valley of river, whose sources are near the second high peak of TALESH mountain (MASOULEH-DAGH with 3050m height). Its height is 1050 m from open sea and difference between its highest and the lowest points are more than 120m. 

The combination of TALESH, TURKEY and GILAKY triple cultures from one side and the forest, the pasture and mountainous triple natures from other side, create a culture and civilization that the first phase of it is the specific architecture and urban development of MASOOLEH. So that, these triple cultures and natures and specific architecture have an effect on each other. By this order, in a continuous and constant cooperation, it has created wonderful dynamism in historic lifetime of MASOULEH. 

Being of more than 120 commercial units around its bazaar, more than 6 Carvansaraa, 2 traditional baths, more than 33 public springs, 10 mosques and 5 shrines strike a note of improvement and splendor of this town in recent years. During 60 past years, MASOULEH population has decreased from 3500 to 900. This shows descending history progress of this ancient town. 

Humans, created this habitats, urban farm and fantastic architecture in a quite agreeable life with nature, if they knew their off springs behaved with their products in this way, they would not transfer this condition to them. 

In recent decodes for different reasons historic-cultural and environmental identity of this rare collection has been altered and present situation of the valuable town is not suitable for fame before. Nevertheless, MASOULEH is proverbial among all five wonderful town-village (ABYANEH, KANDOVAN, MEYMAND and SAR-SEIEDAGHA). Maybe thousands of travelers visit this historic town and natural landscapes yearly. In summer more passengers visit MASOULEH, because of its temperature and damp weather. Although its attraction in three other seasons is more than summer, all travelers are interested in natural sights not only can see strange views of natures in spring, fall and winter, but also is suitable for whom want silent and calm place.

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