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Iran: Rainfall destroys historical houses in Masuleh

Archive photos by Maryam Hosseini, Tehran

TEHRAN, Nov. 17 (Mehr News Agency) -- Several houses in the historical village of Masuleh collapsed after the recent heavy rain in the village, leaving debris of roof timbers and pieces of wood and stones in the passageways.

The incident happened due to ignoring the needed major renovations of the buildings and over 20 houses were destroyed, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.

Located 36 kilometers southwest of Fuman in Gilan Province, Masuleh is a unique village of historical antiquity. It is like a living museum of architecture and cultural anthropology, with its beautiful homes hugging the cliffs, rising vertically upward, with the rooftops of one tier of houses forming the streets for the higher levels of the village. It attracts a great number of tourists every year.

Several other houses have also been damaged and are about to collapse, the report added.

Fortunately the owners were not home at the time and no body was injured, the report mentioned. Many villagers move to warmer places in the cold season when all roads in the area are often blocked by heavy snow.

According to one of the neighbors, the process of destruction of the homes began in spring and its pace has been increasing over the past few months.

If the houses are left in disrepair this winter, there will be more destruction in the region, the report further noted.

In addition, some of the owners have begun to renovate their houses themselves, that is, they destroy the building completely and build a new structure. Dehruyeh is one of the old houses that were recently rebuilt.


A fascinating historical site, Masuleh was registered on the National Cultural Heritage List in 1975. It is also an outstanding example of human adaptation to nature.

The village includes several residential and commercial buildings, six caravansaries, two old bath houses, over 33 springs, ten mosques, and five Imamzadeh shrines, which indicates the village's former prosperity. But the population has been declining over the past 60 years.

... Payvand News - 11/18/08 ... --

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