Masouleh Village
Gilan, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

 

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11/2/2014

Masuleh is approximately 60 km southwest of Rasht and 32 km west of Fuman. The village is 1,050 meters above sea level in the Alborz (or Elburz) 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 (Kohneh Masuleh in Persian). People moved from Old-Masuleh to the current city because of pestilence and attacks from neighbouring communities.

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. Masuleh 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 Masuleh 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 Masuleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog.

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