Strange architecture of Isfahan kabutar khane(pigeon house)

Pigeon Tower or kabutar khane is a building that was built in the central regions of Iran, especially Isfahan (more info about Isfahan monuments). These towers were built around farms and gardens. There are about 3,000 pigeon towers around Isfahan, but few of them remain today. Most people mistakenly believe that pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) are built for homing pigeon. But Isfahan pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) were built to collect pigeon manure. Pigeon manure has been used in various industries in the past. The owners of these pigeon house have made a lot of money from the sale of these fertilizers.


pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) were buildings that were common in the desert and central regions of Iran about 400 years ago. These towers were built near gardens and agricultural fields. These buildings were built in the form of cylinders with latticed windows. The windows were made so that only pigeons could enter and exit. This type of architecture kept the pigeons safe from birds of prey such as eagles and owls. A well was dug in the middle of the tower so that the pigeons could have access to water. The materials used to make the pigeon house were clay and mud. This architecture creates cool weather in summer and warm weather in winter.

Inside of these tower in isfahan, a large number of small balconies seamlessly cover the interior walls. These balconies have been used as pigeon nests. The walls are constructed in such a way that they have a slope towards the interior so that the excrement falls directly into the central cavity and dries. These towers are very durable buildings due to the use of mortar in their construction and have survived to this day.

The Strange architecture of towers is such that some people who do not know the Isfahan pigeon towers (kabutar khaneh) mistakenly think that these towers used to be a military fortress.

To protect the pigeons, the towers (kabutar khaneh) were built to protect them from invaders.

The holes in the tower (windows) were exactly the size of a pigeon. As a result, large birds such as owls and crows are less likely to enter.

But the tower builders used other effective ways to prevent pigeons from attacking.

the owners of these towers used plants such as frankincense and pepper to ward off pests such as bedbugs and fleas.

The vibrations of the pigeons’ wings in the tower also kept snakes and mice away from the pigeon house.

In these towers (kabutar khaneh), there is no food for pigeons. During the day, the pigeons go out to find food and water, and at night they return to the tower (kabutar khaneh).

The capacity of some Isfahan pigeon towers (kabutar khaneh) reaches 40,000 pigeons. Therefore, about 70,000 kilograms of manure was obtained annually from these pigeons. This amount of manure was good for both the owners of the towers and the farmers. Farmers used these manures to fertilize their farmland. For this reason, many pigeon towers (kabutar khaneh) were built in this province. manure has been the main use of pigeon excrement, but it has also been used in the leather industry and gunpowder production.

Mardavij pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh)

One of the most famous Isfahan pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) is Mardavij  pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) and the other one is In Houyeh Village pigeon tower. Mardavij pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) is designed like a flower. In the center of this flower is a large circle and eight circles around it. The height of this tower is 18 meters and its diameter is 16 meters. There are 15,000 nests in this three-story tower. This tower has been registered in the list of national monuments of Iran.

 Radan pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh)

Radan pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) is one of the few pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) built during the Qajar period. The height of this tower is 10 meters and the diameter of its cylinder is 13 meters. The architecture of this pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) is in the form of two nested cylinders.

To visit Radan Tower, you have to go 3 km south of Isfahan.

Be sure to visit these pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) during your trip to Isfahan. It will be very interesting to visit the Isfahan pigeon tower (kabutar khaneh) and get acquainted with their architecture.

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