Gilan Rural Heritage Museum

May 9, 2018

Almost unrivaled in the Middle East and central Asia, Gilan Rural Heritage Museum is the first and foremost experience of the country to protect and revive the rural cultures and architecture. The open-space museum has been a great step towards saving and retaining the financial and spiritual heritage of Gilanis.

The museum was the initiative of Dr. Mahmud Taleghani after the destructive earthquake of Rudbar in 1990. To make it come true, it took more than a decade of serious efforts. Initial studies to set up the eco-museum were carried out by Gilan’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Office, its governorate, and French Écomusée d’Alsace, all under the observation of the UESCO organization in 2002. The executive operations were launched in 2005 and its first phase came into operation in 2006.

Located in the forests of Saravan, 18 km on Rasht-Tehran road, the rural museum encompasses an area of 263 hectares.The largest eco-museum in the Middle East region amazes its visitors in an open, friendly atmosphere, showcasing Gilan’s entity and its rich culture. You will see handicrafts, occupation, housing and generally lifestyle of rural families.

The design of the museum is very eye-catching; sample structures and buildings have been selected and developed in the site. There are restaurants, teahouses, bazaar, mosques, farms, handicrafts workshops and exhibits, playgrounds, medicinal herbs and indigenous trees, and two inns, inspired by the rural architecture, in the site. On each corner you will view the difficult, simple yet sweet life of the villagers.

You will see women baking breads; the smells of local breads over the open fire will intensify your cravings to go and try. Also a crowd of warm women and men with vividly colorful clothes show you around to greatly enjoy your visit.

In all, in a short amount of time you will observe the beauties and plainness of Gilanis rural life without taking much of your time to travel to each of them on your own.

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