(Persia Digest) – The historic village of Masuleh is one of Iran’s most picturesque stepped villages in the northern Guilan Province, 35kms west of Fouman.

The location of Masuleh between the mountains and the forest has provided it with a quaint landscape. It has one of Iran’s most temperate climates and is host to tens of thousands of tourists worldwide.

Masuleh is a historic tourist attraction known for its distinctive stepped architecture. It was registered as a national heritage of Iran in 1975.

Masuleh or Mah Suleh?

In the ancient Pahlavi language, Masuleh was written as Mah Suleh. Mah means moon and Suleh means small in the local dialect. Thus, the village name means “The land of the little moon”. It was also known by another name in the old days – The tall mountain.

In the Safavid time, especially after the Shahsavan tribes settled here, Masuleh became known as Ghezel Darreh (Valley of the gold). At some point in time, it was also called Ghezel Ghal’eh [Ghezel Fort] due to the arms depot here.


Masuleh has a distinctive architecture where the areas outside the houses act both as pavements and rooftops for the lower row of houses. The architectural fabric of Masuleh took shape in the Zandieh era. Its narrow streets and many steps leave no room for motorized vehicles to enter the village. The design of the village can be summarized in one sentence: The courtyards of the top row of houses are the rooftops of the lower rows of houses.

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Masuleh has five neighborhoods. One of these is the bazaar. The other four are called Kasheh Sar, Masjed Bar, Asad Mahaleh, and Khaneh Bar and are formed around the bazaar. Each one of these neighborhoods has its own attractions to delight the visitors.

Masuleh’s four seasons and pleasant landscape attracts tourists all throughout the year, where they can take delight in its amazing scenery.

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