When the Romans came to France, they brought their passion for pigeons with them. Nowadays pigeonniers provide great architectural pleasure with their numerous shapes. Those constructions are often converted, in order to provide extra-space, into a traditional house to give great added value to the property. A pigeonnier reflects one of the numerous French traditions and brings great cachet to a property in France, to live in if attached to the house (see the picture below), or for decoration if detached and raised elsewhere on the property (see the picture on the left).
During the Middle-Ages, pigeonniers were reserved to the French lords, it had to be attached to the house.
The dovecote was a privilege and a symbol of power and so its size always referred to the property owner's one. Pigeonniers therefore played a social role as they helped determine the social level of the landlord.
Pigeons were appreciated for their meat, but their excrements (named "colombine") were also very important as one of the best fertilizers at this time. The amount of colombine producted was often precised when the property's price was discussed. It also contains salpeter and may be used to produce gunpowder.
However pigeons were a threat for the seeds and had to be placed strategically in the estate.
After the French revolution and the privileges abolition many French people were infatuated with pigeonniers but the greater part of them was destroyed through ages.
The ones that remain agreeably remind us of ancient times and their traditions while visiting the wonderful rural France.