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Paper Information

Journal:   HOUSING AND RURAL ENVIRONMENT   SPRING 2012 , Volume 31 , Number 137; Page(s) 37 To 52.
 
Paper: 

PHYSICAL AND STRUCTURAL TYPOLOGY OF PUBLIC UTILITY CONSTRUCTIONS IN RURAL ISFAHAN (CASE STUDY: RURAL DOVECOTE)

 
 
Author(s):  ZARGHAMI ESMAEIL*, OKHOVAT HANIEH, AZEMATI HAMID REZA
 
* ARCHITECTURAL DEPARTMENT OF FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN, SRTTU, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

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 rural buildings, pigeon towers or dovecotes are of a great importance. Each pigeon tower could accommodate thousands of Persian wild pigeons, accommodating annual harvests of dung for field manure and for the softening of leather in Isfahan’s famed tanneries. These structures played an important role, similar to subterranean canal systems (qanats) in sustaining the hinterland that made possible an eventual urban center at Isfahan. Initially, humans found utility in their food and eggs, but soon realized that their rich, dry droppings made for valuable fertilizer. Hence, special pigeon towers were built so that thousands of pigeons could breed in them, their droppings accumulating at their base.
Pigeon towers represent one of the most remarkable examples of eccentricity in Iranian architecture. The pigeon towers of Isfahan are a perfect example of humans and nature working together in the name of mutual interest. At a time when chemical fertilizers did not exist, a method for generating large quantities of fertilizers was imminent. Taking advantage of their natural environment, the architects of Isfahan created pigeon towers. By attracting wild pigeons with seed and a safe place to roost, the towers acted as a natural collection point for waste which could then be used as fertilizer. Hundreds of rural dovecote, dating largely to the Safavid period, exposure in Isfahan villages. 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 rural dovecote in different types. This paper investigates different types of rural dovecote in Isfahan and Central Anatolia. The results show that there is a fundamental difference between the structures of dovecote in these two countries. However, dovecotes of central Anatolia are now one of interesting points and have influenced rural tourism industry in this country. Therefore, there are unique species of pigeon towers in Isfahan villages, which deserves more attention and by restoring them can have a small step in advancing our rural tourism industry.

 
Keyword(s): DOVECOTES, RURAL TOURISM, ISFAHAN, TYPOLOGY, STRUCTURAL PERFORMANCE
 
References: 
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  Persian Abstract Yearly Visit 84
 
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