Back in the times of the Ottoman Empire, people would build elaborate miniature palaces for the birds. Found in the territory of today’s Turkey, the birdhouses were affixed to the outer walls of significant city structures, such as mosques, inns, bridges, libraries, schools and fountains.
Up until today, nearly every city in Turkey had some examples of this kind of fascinating bird architecture. The oldest one is a 16th-century bird palace that is attached the Büyükçekmece Bridge in Istanbul.
Not only did they provide the birdies with shelter, these structures also fulfilled a religious purpose – they were believed to grant good deeds to those who built them.
The bird houses adopted different names over the years, such as “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions), “güvercinlik” (dovecots) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace). Nevertheles, no matter how you call them, one thing is for sure – the mesmerizing pieces of architecture encouraged love for animals among the Turkish public, and was a win both for the city, and for the birds.