The massive earthquake which struck the northern Iranian province of Gilan in June 1990 devastated the whole area. More than 40,000 people lost their lives, thousands of old houses collapsed and hundreds of villages were destroyed.
Many of the traditional old houses were demolished and replaced with modern buildings in the aftermath of the earthquake, with much of Gilan’s cultural and architectural heritage lost in the process. To restore and preserve part of that heritage, the Gilan Rural Heritage Museum was born, expanding to a site with nine model villages based on the distinctive styles of the province’s different regions.
This project is the first of its kind in Iran, and Dr. Mahmood Taleghani, the initiator and founder, shows us around each of the model villages.