of the pigeon houses are located in Falâvarjân,
Homâyun-shahr, Khwânsâr, Golpâyegân, and eastern
Isfahan Province,” Fariba Saeidi told the
Persian service of IRNA.
total of 65 have been registered on the National
Heritage List, and the ICHTD has restored some of
them over the few past years,” she added.
houses were an important part of the agricultural
sector of the Safavid era (1501-1722). The pigeon
houses are one of the wonders of historic Iranian
architecture and have been mistaken for city
towers over the years.
constructed the buildings in bygone days in order
to obtain pigeon droppings that they used to
fertilize their fields.
one knows exactly when construction of the pigeon
houses began, but the “Majma' al-Tawarikh”
written by the historian Hafez Abru (d. 1430) at
the order of the Timurid ruler Shahrokh, refers to
the structures in only one sentence, which reads,
“Ghazan Khan, the seventh ruler of the Ilkhanid
dynasty (1271-1303) has banned hunting near the
towers to protect the pigeons.”
to the travelogue of Chevalier Jean Chardin,
the French tourist and painter, there had been
about 3000 pigeon houses around Isfahan when he
traveled to Iran in the 17th century. However,
most of the pigeon houses have fallen into
disrepair over the years due to neglect.
houses had several thousands cells built with
mud-bricks to shelter pigeons. The towers were
often covered with a mix of straw and mud to
protect pigeons from the cold in winter and the
heat in summer. The upper parts of the pigeon
houses were covered with a glossy surface plaster
which prevented snakes from entering the tower.
structures also had a door for the farmers and
smaller openings for pigeons. Farmers used to open
the door once a year to gather pigeon droppings
for their fields and then it was sealed with
to the production of chemical and other types of
fertilizers, the use of pigeon droppings as
fertilizer is regarded as no longer economical, so
nowadays the pigeon houses have been consigned to