Nesting for centuries: “bird palaces” of Ottoman Empire

Starting from the 16th century, special miniature birds for birds were built in the Ottoman Empire on the facades of mosques, madrassas and tombs. “Bird palaces” are still used by many types of birds.

These structures, along with architectural and aesthetic value, are symbols of compassion, manifested to living beings in Ottoman civilization.

“Bird Palaces” were usually attached to those parts of buildings that received sunlight and were protected from the wind.

As the historian and writer Mehmet Dilbaz said in an interview with an ANADOL agency, the birdhouses have been installed since the time of Sultan Suleiman Magnificent.

According to him, “bird houses” were usually built of brick or stone, but the very first were wooden.

The interlocutor of the agency noted that the birdhouses were created both to give the aesthetic appearance to the building and for the purpose of protecting birds.

“Our ancestors built these birdhouses, attaching importance to the elegant species and details, in harmony with the architecture of that period,” he said.

He said that the “bird palaces” were important for the protection of birds, since two centuries ago winter in Istanbul were very harsh.

“During these cold and harsh winter, in which the snow cover remained for two months, the birdhouses were the only places where the birds could hide,” he said.

“Bird Palaces” can be seen on many historical buildings of Istanbul, such as the mosque of the Ulide Valide Sultan, the mosque of Usküdar Ayasham, the mosque Eyuep Sultan, the mosque of Bali-Pasha, the mosque of Shahzade, the tomb of the Sultan Mustafa III, the mosque Selimye, the Madrasa Seyid Khasan -Pasha, Sultan Mahmud I Sultan and Millet’s Manuscripts Library.