Birdhouses, Taksim Sq, Istanbul

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They’re For the Birds

See those pairs of little “houses” on both sides of the window? They’re for the birds!

It was not at all unusual for architects during the Ottoman Empire to include shelter for our Feathered Friends in their great buildings.

This building at the northern end of İstiklal Caddesi happens to be the taksim, or division-point, in Beyoğlu‘s water distribution system.

Commissioned by Sultan Mahmut I and finished in 1732, it has given its name to Taksim Square. (The open plaza to the east, with the Atatürk Cultural Center beyond, used to a reservoir.)

Islam requires merciful treatment of all animals because they, too, have immortal souls. For another merciful bird moment in Istanbul, see For the Birds in Funny Stuff.

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