Iran Pigeon Towers

Iran Pigeon Towers

Iran Pigeon Towers is a luxury accommodation for pigeons. Each circular tower was house to about 14,000 pigeons. These towers were built by folks to collect dung. They used it as fertilizer for their melon and cucumber fields, in the leather industry, and as an essential ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder. Most of Iranian pigeon towers were built in the 17th century.

These buildings were constructed to attract pigeons so that they would nest in the towers and their dung could be harvested. The towers were built by brick and overlaid with plaster and lime. The towers just provided housing. Therefore, the pigeons searched for food and water during the day, and they returned to the towers at night.

There were approximately 3,000 pigeon towers in the city of Isfahan as one of the pioneer cities in building these towers in Iran. Due to using modern chemical fertilizers, however, only 300 towers have remained today. Most of these magnificent structures are obsolete, and only about 65 towers are protected by National Heritage List.

The pigeon towers were constructed as impenetrable fortresses. The small size of the entrances prevents other birds like eagles, hawks and owls entering inside the tower. These cylindrical towers, housing up to 14,000 pigeons, stand 18 or more meters high and range from 10 to 22 m in diameter. They resembled the rocky ledges and crevices in which pigeons like to nest.

The architecture of these towers are really interesting. It is based on the vernacular architecture of Iran. It is an efficient use of space inside the towers. The maximum number of holes were built. The walls were strengthened with interior arches. The ceiling is of barrel-vaulted kind. There are endless nesting balconies along the walls. The holes are approximately 20 x 20 x 28 centimeters (8 x 8 x 11″). The walls were slanted inwards. Therefore, pigeon dung fell into a central pit at the foot of the tower. It was opened once a year and the dug was collected and harvested.

Travel by Iran Tours 24, an Iranian Tour Operator to visit these beautiful pigeon towers.