There Are No Cobwebs in Turkey

It’s not just ostrich feathers that are effective against spider webs. As it turns out, ostrich eggs do the trick too.

Structures in Ottoman Turkey are old. But this doesn’t mean the country’s centuries-old buildings are covered in dust and cobwebs. The Turks have a trick that it seems few people know about.

Hippodrome & Rüstem Pasha Mosque


Rüstem Pasha Mosque exterior view


Sitting just across from the Hippodrome & Grand Bazaar the Rüstem Pasha Mosque rises from the banks of the nearby Bosphorus River. The mosque does not seem to stand out from its surroundings like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The exterior is an ordinary gray but the structure is easily recognizable as a mosque with its dome and minarets.

Although Rüstem Pasha was built many centuries after the Dome of the Rock, it features interior tiles similar to those found on the exterior of the Jerusalem landmark.

Iznik tiles

This is not too surprising considering the external tiles were added by tile-makers sent from Istanbul by Sultan Suleiman around the same time period that Rüstem Pasha Mosque was built.


On my visit to the mosque, my tour guide Salih from Gate 1 Travel commented on the lack of cobwebs among the large archways and high chandeliers. He muttered this as if he was marveling about it for the first time. He was bringing it up, I suppose, so he could talk about a secret way to keep spiders out of buildings. It’s quite simple he explained. The mosques place ostrich eggs around the chandeliers and it naturally repels the spiders, therefore, you won’t find cobwebs around the lights.

Rüstem Pasha Mosque interior view


Salih provided few details about how this works. Where are the eggs kept? I assume the inside of the eggs have been cleaned, right? Where can I find more information about this?

As someone who hates the mess spiders leave in your home, I was anxious to learn more about this natural spider repellent. I couldn’t seem to find much information on the internet about this at the time.

Today there are several references that seem to confirm the effectiveness of this natural spider repellent. I can’t dust around a window or clear spider webs from the walls and ceilings without thinking of this story. I plan to order some eggs soon and put them to the test.


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