Masuleh seeks to improve landscape, bizarre Lego-shaped houses

November 25, 2020 - 17:29

TEHRAN – A safeguarding, landscaping project will soon be commenced on the northern Iranian village of Masuleh, which is a top candidate for being a UNESCO World Heritage. The scenic, mountainside village is famed for its Lego-shaped earthen houses built on another’s rooftop. 

A landscaping project is planned to be implemented on Masuleh by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts in close collaboration with the Natural Resources and Watershed Management Department, the provincial tourism chief announced on Wednesday.

Sceneries and properties dotted across the route to this unique tourist attraction are also on agenda to be re-organized and documented, Masoud Hallajpour said.

Masuleh is estimated to date for a millennium, as the existence of numerous graveyards inner and outside of the village proves its old age. 

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 all people could directly see the main facade of houses, the local artists and artisans did their best in this part of the building.

According to the Lonely Planet, local and foreign tourists swarm like ants across the village's rooftops and through its narrow passageways during summer.

Iran, home to several stepped villages

Iran is home to several magnificent stepped villages, of which the most popular ones are Masouleh, Uraman, and Kang, which could be included on the World Heritage list.

Kang in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi, which has been recently inscribed on the national heritage list, with an antiquity of more than 3,000 years, is situated at a distance of some 30 km from Mashhad, the provincial capital.

The village, located on the highlands of Mount Binalud, is also adjacent to Nishabur, known for its turquoise handicrafts and mines.

Uraman in the west of the country is also another stepped village, which is considered a cradle of Kurdish art and culture from the days of yore. 

Stretched on a steep slope in Uraman Takht rural district of Sarvabad County, the village is home to dense and step-like rows of houses in a way that the roof of each house forms the yard of the upper one, a feature that adds to its charm and attractiveness.

Iran submitted the UN body a dossier for the Uraman cultural landscape in 2019. Some eighty experts in various fields compiled and developed the dossier in terms of anthropology, archeology and history, natural sciences, architecture, historical documents, and other related fields.

Having an opulent tourist circuit with 24 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Iran seeks to acquire a greater share of the global tourism industry by 2025.


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