MASOULEH CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NGO
 MASOOLEH

 

 

MASOOLEH

The town is famous for its handicraft and for its unusual architecture.  Many Iranians, not only tourists, comes here during their holiday and walk in the hills or just enjoy this lovely place.                                                  

Masooleh is an amazing place with its small yellow houses surrounded with green lush forest and high mountains.
This is the Pearl of northern Iran!

If you want to visit the architectural -historical texture go and visit this town.
Also it's very interesting for people who want to enjoy of pleasant weather and nature.

masooleh is one of the most attractive cities in Iran and also in Gilan province.
There are too many things to visit, as soon as you arrive to Masooleh.
You can walk in its streets and enjoy seeing many considerable artistic views.

The old wooden houses of Masooleh are quite attractive, in a weather worn, dilapidated way.

Masooleh is registered as historical towns in the historical & cultural heritage register under the number 1090.              

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.

Masooleh enjoys pleasant and moderate weather as a mountainous region. Due to being located on Caspian strip and having also suitable soil it is covered with luxuriant forests such as Tosca, Walnut, Hazelnut and Pasturages.

Besides, there are waterfalls, small rivers and springs, that totally have created a beautiful and eye-catching natural landscape. Mountains of Masooleh enjoy some mines such as iron, Quartz, China root, zinc and Galena. In the time of King Fathali Qajar, existence of these mines caused to make cannons of Iranian artillery in Masooleh.

Storied and terracing plan of the city is in parallel to the mountain slope. The combination of such architecture with natural landscapes can be a national and international touristy center and the only way of the inhabitants' living. As the all people could directly see the main façade of houses, the local artists and artisans did their best in this part of building.

Masooleh inarguably, is one of the most ancient, civilized villages in the world with almost 1300 years of recorded history, 150,000 square meters surface area and less than 4 thousands people, situated in the northern parts of Iran, adjacent to the world’s largest enclosed body water, Caspian Sea.

To describe the overall appearance and outfit of Masooleh, one should note that this ancient village is located in a mountainous region and that’s why agriculture is not developed. Nonetheless, the majority of business is handicrafts production. There is a roofless and oriental bazaar in the heart of the city dedicated exclusively to the supplement of handicrafts created by the rustic artists, where they display and sell their productions personally. Perhaps their haggling with the customers would be the most interesting part of the whole deal!

Aside from all, the majestic city has an unprecedented and unique architecture that captivates and enchants almost every visitor. All around the ancient city of Masooleh, one can behold the eminent presence of lattice windows, adobe-incrassated walls, traditional doorknobs and a virgin tranquility that congregate and inaugurate a matchless exhibition of Persian beauty, craftiness and aptitude.

 

Kohneh Masooleh

The first village of Masouleh is established 6 km northwest of the current village, and it is called Old-Masouleh (Persian: کهنه ماسوله, Kohneh Masouleh). People moved from Old-Masouleh to the current village because of Pestilence.
In the past ages, people were settled in a higher place named Kohneh Masouleh which was 8 km. far from the new town;

One of the ancient parts of Masooleh is the historic site called kohneh (Old) Masooleh. and is 1800 meters above the Sea - level.

Kohneh Masooleh is situated on a hill in an area of about 0.8 hectares, where remaining walls of some old stone monuments can still be found.

Research of the last few years revealed that the walls belonged to houses and rooms that were equipped with furnaces in which steel and other metals would be melted.

Pottery vessels and metal objects can also be found on the place which belongs to different historical periods. Traces of Stone Age up to Iron Age are explicitly left there.

 Inhabitants of these houses seem to have left their dwelling place for diseases like pestilence and gradually migrated to Masooleh, where they have been living ever since.

History

There is no definite proof of any exact history of the foundation of the city but according to the historical books; it is proven that about 1300 years ago the city was in existence. Numerous graveyards inner and outside of the city proves its old texture.

Architecture

Masooleh 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. Masooleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only village in Iran with such a prohibition. However, the small streets and many stairs simply also wouldn't make it possible for vehicles to enter.

The spectacular architecture of Masooleh is well-known as "The yard of the above building is the roof of the below building".

Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masooleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog.

Buildings are mostly 2 stories (1st floor and below floor) made of stones, adobe, rods, timber and bole. There also exist a few four or three stores houses. Small living room, big Guest room, winter room, Hall, WC and Balcony are usually found in 1st floor. Cold closet and warehouse are located at below floor that attaches to the upper floor by several narrow steps inside the building.

There are four main local communities at the village named: "Maza-var" (meaning: beside the Mosque) at the south, "Khoona-var" at the East, "Keysar " at the North, and, "Assa-malla" at the West. Apparently down-town is the Market (Bazaar) area and also the mosquedral   of the town.

The paramount feature that Masooleh retains is its staircase structure – a group of mud-brick houses with their wild-fern roofs are constructed on the slope of mountains in a way that roofs of the lower houses serve as the yards for the upper ones.

The houses are built so compact and near each other that the streets are actually the roof of another house .

Urban Design

Sloping plan of the town, which stretches southward along the topographical lines, enable the inhabitants to carry out their daily activities.

The plan includes four main districts, encircling a four - storied market which is considered the heart of Masooleh. This indicates that strong economy of

the market has been the most important factor in shaping the whole town.

Four main districts that now include nearly 350 houses, once encompassed more

than 600 homes. The main market - place, which comprises 120 shops, is constructed in 7 levels and is directly linked to Masooleh "s main streets.

These streets are designed in a way that no motor vehicle can pass them. Until

half a century ago in spring and summer time, merchants of the neighboring areas would pass these routes riding on their horses, ponies or even sometimes on camels.

Today, people use wheelbarrows to carry goods from one place to another.

Taking advantage of the steep mountains, skilled architects have made provisions for an effective sewage system and for channeling surface water.

The provisions included four main canals to which, surface water and sewage pipes from every house led.

Geography

 

Māsūlé is a village in the Gilan Province of Iran.

Masooleh 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 mountain range, near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The village itself has a difference in elevation of 100 meters.

Masooleh-Rood-Khan is the river passing through the village with a water fall 200m away from the village. So many other springs are found in and around Masooleh.
Masouleh is also surrounded by forest from valley to mount.

Climate

 

Fog is the predominate weather feature of Masooleh.

The fluctuation of temperature in Masooleh makes an enjoyable weather in summers and cold winters. Moreover, the annual average of precipitation is 713 millimeters which has helped to the emergence of many rivers all around the village where "Masooleh Rud"  could be mentioned as the longest one of all. It has got two branches merging into it – Andareh and Nilikhali.

In Masooleh the air is clean and not too hot in the summer. But during winter it

can fall 3 meter of snow.

 

Handicrafts

 

The handicrafts of the natives in Masooleh constitute of Knives, Chamush (a kind of traditional leather shoes), Spades, Axes, Scythes etc.

 

Language

The native people of Masooleh speak TALESHI  ( one of the ancient languages of the country )

museum

This museum has the traditional tools that the people of this village have used in the past. It includes tools for kitchen, food preservation, transportation, beds, dresses ...

They are not recently made, and not pictures. They are real.


 

 

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