Elaborate Birdhouses Resembling Miniature Palaces Built in Ottoman-Era Turkey

Historic Ottoman architecture was designed to accommodate more than its human inhabitants. Birds, in their own unique way, were welcomed to the ornate structures with their own avian-sized palaces that look just like miniature versions of the larger thing. Projecting from the façade of concrete buildings, the feathered friends would enter multi-story mansions complete with balconies on which to survey their world at large. Some of these amazing homes even included water troughs or “runways” fit for takeoffs and landings.

The stunning birdhouses speak to the overall attitude that the Ottoman Turks had towards animals. Structures built during this time—between the 15th and 19th century—were designed with the care and protection of creatures in mind. The avian homes, with nicknames like “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace), are fantastic examples of this. While some stunningly detailed homes were simply for refuge, other birdhouses fed the winged creatures in times of cold weather or could help take care of them while they were sick.

In their heyday, the birdhouse designs were present in nearly every Turkish city. As time has worn on, however, there are only a relatively small selection that remain today. The oldest example is a 16th-century iteration that's attached Istanbul's Büyükçekmece Bridge.

Ottoman architecture built between the 15th and 19th century was created for more than humans. Feathered friends were also welcomed with elaborate birdhouse designs.

The designs are miniature palaces that project from the exterior. Although prevalent throughout Turkish cities long ago, there are only a fraction of them left today.

Cool Birdhouse Designs

Photo: Travelmind

Cool Birdhouse Designs

Photo: Travelmind

h/t: [Colossal]

Related Articles:

Remarkably Pristine Ancient Greek Mosaics Uncovered in Turkish City of Zeugma

16th Century Gothic Boxwood Miniatures With Extremely Detailed Carvings

Oldest Known Photos of 20+ Beloved Cities Around the World

“Time Capsule” Apartment in Paris Found Untouched for 70 Years

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content