The outside of this terracotta colored circular tower would never give away their very purpose – ancient guano factories. The inside is intriguing, a dazzle of geometrical patterns, a maze of corridors, floors and levels that make you feel lost easily. But the birds feel comfortable and clean. Each one has its small cubicle and when sitting on the roosts, the droppings fall straight onto the floor. All this is still intact, but only a few odd pigeons reside here now. Nothing compared to the 4.000 pigeons that would live in each of those once 300 towers. Nowadays, only a couple of these guano producers are left.
We climbed one on the outskirts of Esfahan. Gone are the melon and cucumber fields, the sprawling town has engulfed and eaten into what was once agricultural land. But we tried to imagine what it used to look like.
Oh yes, there is a small hint on the outside: arched patterns and zig-zagged stones near the top of the tower keep snakes from climbing in. The pigeons should feel sheltered and safe.