Pigeon house

The pigeon house is a peculiar structure that is found in the Cyclades, mainly in Tinos. Artistic and geometrically decorated externally, they are built in wind-protected parts.

 In Tinos there are currently more than 600 pigeon houses, although it is probable that there were built more than twice as many.

The pigeon house is estimated to appear in Tinos during the Venetian period (1207-1715), though the first written evidence of a pigeon house related to a covenant made by a clergyman in 1726.

The appropriate place for a pigeon house has to be sheltered to provide protection, open to favor the unobstructed flight of pigeons and close to a water source. The decorated sides, which are close to the pigeons, are never facing north and embroidery reminiscent of stone. Squares, triangles, circles, diamonds, suns, flowers, initials of the owner or manufactured, are some of the carved issues that make each pigeon house unique.

The pigeon house was a symbol of noble origin and economic power. In older times, property rights and use of pigeon houses belonged to Venetians lords. From 1715 onwards, when Tinos was occupied by the Turks, the right of ownership and use ceded to Tinian landowners.