One of the most amazing monuments which are scattered on the suburbs of Isfahan are pigeon towers. There were more than 14000 pigeon towers on the plain of Isfahan, especially on the east and west of the city. Unfortunately a large number of these towers were destroyed, and vanished.

Isfahan’s expansion, conversion of different villages to a part and section of the new city negligence of people and related authorities have been some of the main reasons. Each pigeon tower is about 10 to 14 meters high. Although outer parts of pigeon towers have similar shapes, but each pigeon tower shows its own characteristics.

One of the famous travelers who visited Isfahan in 14th century has written about these towers which were visited in villages, agricultural plains and orchards. There are hundreds of nesting boxes inside the tower, artistically constructed by mud bricks. Hundreds of wild pigeon prepared their nests in these nesting boxes. Inner part of the tower takes necessary day light or sunlight, and pigeons could fly comfortably inside the tower, their guano was collected in the tower. Entrance doors of towers were closed by mud and seeds. Every year the entrance door of each tower was opened and all gathered pigeon’s guano which were collected like a small hill in the inner environment of the tower were removed to the farms. Guano was mixed with soft and rich argil soil and changed to a very strong and rich fertilizer. Isfahan melons and water melons are very popular all over Iran. The mentioned fertilizer was used for growing delicious melons. In 17th century, foreign travelers who visited Isfahan have mentioned impotence of pigeon towers and melon farms.

Iran’s wind towers, age-old air conditioners


Wind towers (Badgir) are important elements in traditional Iranian architecture, providing natural air-conditioning in hot, dry and humid climates for thousands of years. These towers rise not only on ordinary houses but also on top of water cisterns (Ab-anbar) and mosques. The function of the cistern found below most wind towers in warm dry regions was to help balance humidity inside the structure. In many desert buildings, wind towers were built on top of a lavabo (howzkhaneh, which functioned as a summer courtyard). The wind was directed over the pool where it evaporated the water and took the cool air into other rooms.

The first historical evidence of wind towers in Iran dates back to the fourth millennium BC. To counter the harshly variable climates of the country, Iranians invented wind towers which still stand in various desert towns except in areas where the city was located in a valley or in places experiencing frequent violent storms. Wind towers are an inseparable part of the architecture of central and southern Iran, namely Yazd, Kashan, Bam and villages on the Persian Gulf coast. In desert areas houses are closely set together, high-walled and made of baked brick with small windows facing away from the sun to minimize heat and maximize shade. In order to provide occupants with constant comfort, wind towers were built with a four-directional orientation to catch wind from all directions and guide it into the house. Wind towers consist of four parts: the body containing shafts, air shelves which catch hot air and prevent it from entering the structure, flaps which redirect wind circulation, and a roof covering. Wind travels through the shafts on top of the tower to reach the interior of the building. The air flow inside the structure travels in two directions, up and down. The temperature difference between the interior and exterior of a building causes pressure variations which results in the creation of air currents. In cities where the wind blows only from one single direction, only one of the shafts operates to receive the breeze and the other three work as air outlet passages.

Azadi Tower


formerly known as the Shahyad Tower is a monument in Tehran City, the capital of Iran, marking the west entrance and one of the symbols of the city.

The architect, Hossein Amanat, won a competition to design a building, which combines elements of the pre-Islamic architecture of Sassanid and Achaemenid eras, and Post-Islamic Iranian architecture. Amanat, a Baha’i, was driven from the country by the Revolution of 1979 and the removal of religious pluralism. This tower is part of the Azadi Cultural Complex, located in Tehran’s Azadi Square in an area of some 50,000 m². There are several fountains around the base of the tower and a museum underground.

Built with white marble stone from the Isfahan Province, it includes eight thousand blocks of stone. The stones were all located and supplied by Ghanbar Rahimi, whose knowledge of the quarries was second to none and who was known as “Soltan e Sang e Iran” (Iran’s Sultan of Stone). The shape of each block was calculated by computer, and programmed to include all the instructions for the building’s work. The actual construction of the tower was carried out, and supervised by Iran’s finest master stonemason, Ghaffar Davarpanah Varnosfaderani. The main financing was provided by a group of five hundred Iranian industrialists. The inauguration took place on October 16, 1971.

The iconic Monument des Martyrs in Algiers (built, 1982) shows a strong influence by this monument, in its general design as well as its details.

Tughrul Tower


Tuğrul Tower (also transliterated Toghrul, Tughrol, or Tughrul) is a 12th-century monument, located in the city of Rey, Iran. Tuğrul Tower is near Rashkan castle.

The 20 meters tall brick tower is the tomb of Seljuk ruler Tuğrul Beg, who died in Rey in 1063. Originally, like other monuments of its time, it was capped by a conical dome, which would have added to its height. The dome collapsed during an earthquake.

The thickness of the walls varies from 1.75 to 2.75 meters. The inner and outer diameters are 11 and 16 meters, respectively. The exterior shape is that of a polygon with 24 angles in its design, which is thought to contribute to the structure’s stability against tremors.

At the top of the tower Kufic inscriptions were originally observable. Naser al-Din Shah ordered some restorations to be made to the top part of the tower, which was collapsing in 1884.

The tower is protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.

Milad Tower


Milad Tower, also known as the Tehran Tower, is a multi-purpose tower in Tehran, Iran. It is the sixth tallest tower and the 17th tallest freestanding structure in the world.

It is located between the Qarb Town and Gisha District, standing at 435 m (1,427 ft) from base to the tip of the antenna.The head consists of a large pod with 12 floors, the roof of which is at 315 m (1,033 ft).

The tower is a part of a complex called International Trade and Convention Center of Tehran. The complex also includes a five-star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park.