Ancient pigeon houses: Remarkable example of the Asian culture crystallized in the architecture of Iran and central Anatolia

Aryan Amirkhani, Hanie Okhovat, Ehsan Zamani
2010 Asian Culture and History  
Architectural heritage is considered a fundamental issue in the life of modern societies. In addition to their historical interest, cultural heritage buildings are valuable because they contribute significantly to the economy by providing key attractions at a time when tourism and leisure are major industries. The need for preserving historical constructions is thus not only a cultural requirement, but also an economical and developmental demand. Herein, among different Iranian heritage
more » ... an heritage buildings, pigeon towers, or dovecotes, are of a great importance. Hundreds of dovecotes, dating largely to the Safavid period, dot the fields in the vicinity of Isfahan. On the other hand, valleys formed by creeks in central parts of Anatolia seem to have offered suitable environments for ancient settlements. Cappadocia region and two valleys nearby the town of Gesi accommodate a number of villages surrounded by hundreds of dove cotes in different types. This paper investigates different types of dovecotes in Iran plateau and Central Anatolia, Turkey. The results show there is a fundamental difference between the structures of dovecotes in these two countries. However, ancient dovecotes in Iran and Central Anatolia can be considered good examples of 'architecture without architects' or ' spectacular vernacular architecture'. Master builders who designed and constructed these buildings for such a simple function, created impressive forms without much pretension and bringing forth the tectonic aspects of the art of architecture.
doi:10.5539/ach.v2n2p45 fatcat:xn3rd33g7fcvjp3bxtxnlqkzpe