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Masouleh 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.
The first village of Masouleh is approximately established around 1006 CE, 6 km Northwest of the current village, and it is called Old-Masouleh (Kohneh Masouleh in Farsi). People moved from Old-Masouleh to the current village because of Pestilence and neighbor attacks.
Masouheh-Rood-Khan is the river passing through the village with a water fall 200m away from the village. So many other springs are found around Masouleh.
Masouleh is also surrounded by forest from valley to mount.
Fog is the predominate weather feature of Masouleh.
Masouleh 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 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 Masouleh 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 Masouleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog.
Buildings are mostly 2 stories (1st floor and below floor) made of adobe, rods and bole. Small living room, big Guest room, winter room, Hall, WC and Balcony are usually found in 1st floor. Cold closet, barn and stable 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, "Khana-var" (meaning: beside homes) at the East, "Kasha-sar" (meaning: stretched on top) at the North, and, "Assa-mahala" (meaning: Assad community) at the West. Appearently down-town is the Market (Bazaar) area and also the main mosque of the village, named: "O-ne-ben-ne Ali".

for another view please see :
www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo737444.htm
www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo738863.htm

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Additional Photos by hamid parsi (hmdparsi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 140 W: 58 N: 22] (489)
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