Meybod Pigeon Tower (Kabootar Dovecote) | Yazd, Iran
Meybod, the city of gorgeous buildings, showcases a very rare treasure: Meybod Pigeon Tower. This unique structure may seem both captivating and strange to the modern world. But in the past, pigeon towers were of the most practical buildings in Iran. The Qajar era (1796 to 1925 AD) Pigeon Tower of Meybod, which is to the southeast of the town, is a real architectural beauty. Join me on this post to discover more about the architecture, uses and attractions of this wonderful place.
- 1 Why Visit Meybod Pigeon Tower?
- 2 Amazing Iranian Pigeon Towers
- 3 The Architecture of Meybod Pigeon Tower – a Famous Iranian Pigeon Tower
- 4 Iranian Pigeon Tower – a Safe House for Pigeons
- 5 The Vibration and Earthquake Resistant Structure of Iranian Piegon Towers
- 6 Persian Creativity and Pigeon Safety
- 7 More about Iranian Pigeon Tower of Meybod
- 8 Pigeon Tower (Meybod) Tour
- 9 Kabootar Dovecote (Pigeon Tower) on Map
Why Visit Meybod Pigeon Tower?
- The architectural beauties of Meybod Pigeon Tower will charm you.
- Meybod Pigeon Tower is one of the most precious pigeon towers in Yazd.
- It features special architecture and eye-catching decorations that attract lots of attention.
- In comparison with other similar buildings in other parts of the country, this Pigeon Tower is the best preserved.
Amazing Iranian Pigeon Towers
In different parts of Iran, towers have been built that are known as Pigeon Towers. The Iranian pigeon towers were among the most practical buildings used by Persians and were usually built in a cylindrical shape. It should be noted that Pigeon Towers were built for different reasons and had various benefits.
In the past, people used these buildings to collect high quality acidic manure of pigeons and other birds. These places were once factories for making the best fertilizers in the world. They used these fertilizers in farms, gardens, and industries such as tannery, leather making, as well as gunpowder making. Another use of these birds was to use their meat for food.
It may be interesting to know that Chardin, a French tourist, commented on Persian Pigeon Towers during his trip to Iran in Safavid era (1501 – 1736 AD). He said: “I think Iran is a country where the best Pigeon Towers in the world are built. These Pigeon Towers are six times larger than our largest bird sanctuaries in the West. There are more than 3,000 Pigeon Towers just around the historical city of Isfahan.”
The Architecture of Meybod Pigeon Tower – a Famous Iranian Pigeon Tower
Most of the Pigeon Towers in the country are near Isfahan and Yazd. The most famous among them is Meybod Pigeon Tower. This building is one of the wonders of Persian architecture. With a height of 8 meters, this building has the capacity of 4,000 nests for migratory pigeons. The tower’s nests are all rectangular and each nest can house more than one pigeon.
Beside the historical tower, you can see its cylindrical shape, original Persian style, and special architectural design. The Pigeon Tower has three floors, it has a hexagonal dome and you can see plaster and serrated decorations everywhere. The main materials used in this building, like other historical buildings in Yazd, are adobe and mud. On the roof of the Pigeon Tower, you can see four small towers with the height of 1.5 meters and a large tower, which was actually the entrance and exit of the pigeons.
Iranian Pigeon Tower – a Safe House for Pigeons
The Pigeon Tower was actually a safe haven for birds and was completely impenetrable. The architecture of this building was in a way that animals such as owls, hawks and… could not enter it and hunt pigeons. The structure of the pigeon tower was so accurate that it reduced the possibility of entry of birds of prey to zero. For this reason, the diameter of the pigeons’ entrance holes was large enough that only pigeons could enter and invading birds could not enter. The white line around the building had the same use. To prevent cats and snakes from climbing the towers, they used a line or lines of plaster in the middle of the tower. The white color of the lines, in addition to beautifying the building, helped to attract the pigeons.
The architects designed the tower with the highest possible capacity and the maximum number of nests. The structure also blessed the pigeons with a cool environment in summer and a warm one in winter. So, the interior of the Pigeon Tower was so safe and fun that it sometimes housed about 25,000 pigeons.
The Vibration and Earthquake Resistant Structure of Iranian Piegon Towers
One of the most interesting and creative points in the construction of Meybod Pigeon Tower has been attention to possible vibration. The story is that when the pigeons feel danger, they suddenly fly away, causing a vibration inside the tower. To solve this problem, in addition to building a floor in the middle of the tower, the architects created arches between the outer and inner cylinders to reduce the length of the tower and prevent the vibrations while strengthening the structure.
Persian Creativity and Pigeon Safety
Except for the genius architecture, Persians had other tricks to repel the pigeon enemies and attract pigeons to the Pigeon Towers. One of these tricks was using the smell of some animals such as wolves and hyenas and the smell of some plants such as frankincense. Installing a snake trap, which is a creative invention itself, has also been common in Pigeon Towers.
Also, farmers placed a bowl of milk next to the tower and poured lime around the bowl. When the snake was about to drink the milk, its skin was poisoned with lime, and so it killed the snake. Finally, knowing that the snakes loved to eat yogurt, it was customary to fill narrow pots with yogurt and burry them in the floor of the tower. After the snake entered the pot and ate the yogurt, it was not able to get out of the pot. Because after eating the yogurt, the snake’s body got fat and with this trick, the snake was trapped and killed.
More about Iranian Pigeon Tower of Meybod
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Every day except some public holidays
As we mentioned before, there are many beautiful attractions in Meybod, each of these places are worth the visit. Here are some of them:
Narin Castle is the most important and spectacular historical monument of Meybod. This spectacular 5000-year-old castle is one of the oldest government citadels in Iran. Also, Meybod Caravanserai is one of the most complete caravanserais in Iran. Dating back to Qajar era (1796 – 1925 AD), Meybod Chapar Khaneh has been one of the most important postal and printing centers in the city. On your trip to Meybod, do not miss the opportunity to visit these wonderful attractions.
Where to Eat Nearby