March 14, 2009

Middle Eastern Rooftop Wind Catchers
Aleppo, Syria

An ancient form of air conditioning can be on the rooftops of Aleppo, jutting up from the covered markets below.

About a month ago I caught pieces of a great miniseries on the BBC called 'A Taste of Iran'. On this program they briefly mentioned these huge rectangular chimneys that shot out into the sky in a particular city that they were visiting.

The host explained that these captured the wind as it came in off the desert, funneling the breeze down into an opening, thereby circulating the air in the home or courtyard. For this trick to work the wind need nearly always come from the same direction, which I suppose it did at that city, as it apparently does here in Aleppo.

The wind catchers are significantly smaller here, but it's the same concept: redirect fresh air into an otherwise stuffy place.

Other Shots from the Rooftops

This was my second time back up on this rooftop, just three days after my first big tour of the city. This time I was accompanied by a different group of people, and most everyone became interested at the notion of jumping around on the roofs when I pointed out our previous starting point. My host hadn't even been up there, and was quite entertained that his guest was showing him things of the city he'd been living in for over a year…




April 8th, 2009

Apparently these wind catchers were quite common on the rooftops of the houses of the well-to-do in ancient Egypt as well. I've heard them mentioned in many books, but never seen them in real life. So ingenious.

The United States


April 26th, 2009

the next to the last picture is amazing

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