Masouleh joins League of Historical Cities

July 1, 2022 - 18:22

TEHRAN – Ancient Masouleh, one of the top tourist destinations in northern Iran, has joined the League of Historical Cities, Masouleh’s mayor has said.

“After a series of follow-ups, the League of Historical Cities finally registered Masouleh on its prestigious list,” IRNA quoted Yousef Niruei as saying on Thursday.

“Masouleh is the eighth Iranian city inscribed by the League of Historical Cities,” the mayor added.

Iran is hoping to win UNESCO recognition for Masouleh. According to the UN cultural body, the existence of numerous graveyards inner and outside of the city proves its old texture. The picturesque village is famed for its Lego-shaped earthen houses built on another’s rooftop.

Archaeological evidence indicates the history of human presence in mountains near Masouleh dates back to the late Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), which is extremely older than previously believed.

Home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, Masouleh is one of the many stepped villages that are quite common to find around the country, especially in Iranian Kurdistan and around Mashhad. They have been built on a hill so steep that the roof of one house is the pathway for the next.

Surrounded by green valleys, misty forests, and 3,000m peaks, Masouleh is the ultimate trekking destination in Iran, offering several trails that include both day treks and multi-day treks. Along the way, you are likely to find quite a few Iranian shepherds who live there, perhaps not in winter, but they have fully equipped shacks and you are likely to be invited to have some chai (tea).

Close to the peak, the landscape turns from misty forests to vast green, gorgeous meadows covered in blankets of flowers, a stream, and a few more shepherd shacks, like in a fairy tale. Visitors can find both expensive hotels and budget guesthouses. To find a homestay, you just need to walk around town and someone will approach you.

The League seeks to help deepen mutual understanding of the nations by transcending national boundaries and building on the common foundation of historical cities to strengthen affiliations between cities. “Our aim is to make use of this coming together of cities for the World Conference of Historical Cities to also establish a forum enabling further exchange between the participating cities.”


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