Masouleh is a small mountain village in the Caspian Sea in Iran. A view of Masouleh Masouleh architecture is unique. The buildings were built in the mountain and are interconnected. Both courtyards and rooftops serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masouleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout.


The spectacular architecture of Masouleh is well-known as “The yard of the above building is the roof of the below building”. 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. The roofs of houses on lower tiers are used as courtyards for houses on the tiers above them. In some cases, public streets are laid out along interconnected roofs. All the rooftops are incredibly flat and sturdy except for each having one or several little chimneys poking out.

Local Communities

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. Apparently down-town is the Market (Bazaar) area and also the main mosque of the village, named: “O-ne-ben-ne Ali”. About 800 people currently live in the village.

When To Visit

Summer is a popular time to visit Masouleh, as temperatures in northern Iran are much cooler than the rest of the country. Winter is a good option with fewer visitors. Temperatures then drop to around 10 ° C (50 ° F), but still provide a picturesque setting as the roofs are often covered in snow.


Locals speak Talesh, a language from northwestern Iran, here. Talesh is also spoken in parts of the south of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In total, 200,000 people speak it, which makes it incredibly rare compared to the 110 million people who speak Farsi.

What To Eat

This area is great for vegetarians as you can sample mirzeh ghasemi, a regional specialty of smoked aubergines which is burnt over hot coals. Try ash-e doogh (yoghurt soup) which is another variation of ash-e reshte (noodle soup). There is asali halva (honey halva) and khoshk halva (dry halva), which is made with rice flour rather than semolina. Honey is used as its sweetener, instead of sugar. The sweet aromas of apple flavoured water pipes fill the air along with roasted garlic and eggplant from the local cuisine of this area that is known as Gilan province. Typical Gilan dishes are packed with turmeric and garlic. The most common dish is called mirza ghasemi which is a winning combination of mashed eggplant, squash, garlic and egg.


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