Historical Tourism
Hanging Gardens of Babylon:

  The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis include, remained one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but of which only the pyramids of Giza are received .. Semiramis was the wife of a son of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. (858-824), king of Babylon.
 After the death of her husband, she ruled the country about four years as queen. The former Babylon was on the Euphrates at the spot where the current Iraqi city of Babylon. Rise out of love for his wife and the imagination of a flower-lined hills that are similar to her country.
 About the year 775 BC, a garden consisting of seven superimposed terraces with a specific surface area of 10,000 m2 with a respective terrace height of about 30 meters was built. it was exotic trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that grew on the individual terraces. The irrigation was carried out using an irrigation system with water from the Euphrates.
 The entire system had the appearance of a park or hanging gardens. The walls and pillars supporting the building were drawn up mainly of fired bricks. Among the individual terraces have probably found transitions.
 The base of each terrace was shown, from top to bottom, were from three different locations, and that of a layer of pipe with asphalt, including a double layer of baked bricks, which were embedded in a kind of plaster, and as the last layer, to prevent water seepage, mounted thick lead plates. The top layer, on which the plants grew, consisted of a thick layer of fertile topsoil.
 However, there is serious doubt that the gardens were actually built at this time. We believe rather that they were only around the year 600 BC by Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) built. The "Hanging Gardens" were first discovered in 1899 by the German architect and archaeologist Robert Johann Koldewey (1855-1925) during his excavations in Babylon.

The Lion of Babylon:

  The Lion of Babylon, large and splendidly carved in basalt, reminds us again that the lion was the symbol of the goddess Ishtar. In the sculpture, the lion's back has marks indicating that it was meant for a precious saddle upon which the goddess Ishtar would stand.
 The first impression is more than a mass of mold. Carved from a block of basalt and weathered in the course of three millennia, the "Lion of Babylon" stands like a boulder on the edge of the field of ruins of Babylon.
 About the historical significance and function of the lion may be said very little. Its origin is dated to about 1300 BC - a time that was ruled in Babylon and the whole of South Mesopotamia by the Assyrians from northern Mesopotamia. during the time of rebellion and quashing Babylon was destroyed in 1239 another time (and not the last). To give the sculpture of the lion its own significance, for all that German archaeologists in the early 20th excavations was earlier, from the newly-Babylonian era around 600 BC The lion is the symbol of Babylon, also informed by the Prophet Daniel from the Old Testament.
 A Babylon, was subjecting other nations throughout the centuries and periodically subjected itself. In the animal figure alone with their physical superiority of the figure of a man, we find the imagination to both sides of the eternal struggle. An evocation of the immediate, because voiceless and a reminder of the violence - traumatic - fainting, caused by this violence to be vanquished.
 On the back of the lion a broad-scale indentation can be seen - it is believed that this is a golden saddle could be launched, carrying a statue of the goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, the goddess of battle and victory. At the same time it symbolizes love and sexuality - the Babylonians apparently no contradiction.

Samara Malwiyya:

  The minaret of Samarra is the minaret of the mosque was once the largest in the Islamic world (the so-called Great Mosque of Samarra) and has the shape of a spiral (which is why it is known in the Muslim world with the Arabic term for spiral: al -Malwiya).
 The Malwiyya is in Samarra and rises 27 meters before the Great Mosque, built by the Caliph 852, to a height of 52 m.
 The mosque had a rectangular floor plan of 240 x 160 m. The court was on all sides by Liwans (arcades) enclosed. Samarra was the seat of government at the time of the caliphs. The city on the upper Tigris flourished under the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil (847-861).
 Although Samarra was the residence of the Abbasid caliphs only temporarily, that the artistic, literary and scientific achievements of this legendary city in the Arab history are still until today.
 The Malwiyya is not to be confused with the similar, but smaller minaret of the Mosque of Abu Dulaf. Recent events, The Malwiyya was in the Archaeology Awareness playing cards received by the U.S. Department of Defense.
 The card game was created to educate the U.S. military personnel about the importance of respect for cultural heritage during the operation in Iraq and Afghanistan. On 1 April 2005, the top of the Malwiyya was damaged by an explosion. according to the reports, the insurgents attacked the tower because U.S. troops used them as monitoring points. The force of the blast along the left ramp brick pieces.

Ukhaidir fortress:

  Ukhaidhir, the colossal early Abbasid (late 8th century) fortified pleasure palace is 50 km south west of Kerbala and about 173 km south west of Baghdad, standing alone in the desert as one of the most impressive buildings in the whole World and one of the greatest monuments of early Islam.
 It was built with stone and plaster on a plan which suggests the high skill of its architects in the use of vaults and arches, consisting of a fortified rectangular enclosure measuring 175x169 m, with a gateway in the center of each side. It has 4 rounded corner towers and 10 intermediate half-rounded towers.
 Ukhaidhir's huge walls rise like a cliff out of the plain, and inside them you have the feeling of being in a particularly large warlike castle. The walls are immensely thick, the chambers legion, the whole massive structure 21 m high. Every room is vaulted and majestic.
 The word Ukhaidhir means "small green place". It is one of several fortified mansions built by Arabs on the east and northern fringes of the desert; there are others in Jordan and Syria. Some authorities claim it is an early example of Arab architecture - that is, something not a straight copy from the Persian or Byzantine.
The open-fronted hall (or ewan) and its archway framed in a rectangular panel are both Persian in origin.
 Byzantine acanthus leaves decorate fallen stone capitals. The whole building with its circular buttresses and vaulted colonnades is neither Greek nor Persian, but the first, perhaps overbold step in the evolution of an individual (Arab) style, which later produced the Caliph's palace in Samarra.

Ur (city):

  Ur, the modern Tell el-Muqejjir is one of the oldest Sumerian city and old center in Mesopotamia (Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq). A ziggurat of the moon god Nanna is one of its most important buildings.
 The beginnings of the city date back to about 4000 BC. it is now an important archaeological site. The city is located near the present city of Nasiriya. The city through various excavations, it is possible to gain a good idea of how the city that was once the sea and was an important port.
 In the north of the town is the district of the moon god Nanna, who was the chief god of the city. Here is the ziggurat, which was built by Ur-Nammu around 2200 BC. The so-called standard of Ur was found in one of the royal tombs of the ziggurat that around there are several other important buildings.
 The Echursanga called palace dated to the 3rd Dynasty of Ur and the King's palace of Ur-Nammu and Shulgi. The Egipar is another shrine or sanctuary. It was dedicated to the Ningal and dated in the 3rd Dynasty of Ur. About 200 meters south of the ziggurat were unearthed the oldest major structures of Ur. These are the Royal Tombs of Ur, dating to 2600-2500 BC, but part of an extensive cemetery were about 2,000 graves. Some of the plants found without royal grave robbing and contained rich grave goods. Very close to this cemetery were also found the grave monumental installations of kings of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur. In the south of the city was a big part of the city where people were living and was excavated from this period. The houses were usually rather small and had an interior courtyard.
 There are several streets where there is little evidence of town planning. After the 3rd Dynasty of Ur, the city lost its importance. In the Kassite period (14th century BC), Nannaheiligtum had been renovated. At the time of Assyrian era, there are other renovations. One last small town flourished in the Neo-Babylonian period. Nanna the district had been greatly expanded and given a mighty wall. In the north of the city was a great palace for Belschaltinanna, a daughter of King Nabonidus was built.

Hatra:

 
 Hatra, the City of the Sun god, and the perfect ruin, or as Arabs say: Hadhar, is one of Iraq's few stone reserved monuments, a site that will be loved unreservedly and at first sight, because of its stunning beauty.
 It is an ancient Arab city about 80 km to the south west of Mosul and 296 km north west of Baghdad. In many people's opinion its the loveliest ancient monument in Iraq from any period in that country's immensely long history. Although archeologists possess few texts that tells about the obscure beginnings of Hatra, it seems things started with a smallish Assyrian settlement which then grew sometime in the 3rd century BC to become a fortress and a trading center.
 In the 2nd century BC, it flourished as a major staging-post on the famous oriental silk road to become another link in the chain of the great Arab cities: Palmyra in Syria, Petra in Jordan, and Baalbeck in Lebanon. Around 156 AD, and before the foundation of kingship, Hatra was governed by Arab rulers who combined religious and secular authority. Prominent among them was Nasr, father of the first two kings of Hatra: Lajash and Sanatruq.
 The latter whose title was King of the Arabs as inscriptions discovered in 1961 reveals and who, it seems, completed the Temple of Shamash (the Sun God), was succeeded by his son Abd Samya (190-200 AD), who in turn was succeeded by his son Sanatruq II (200-241 AD), the last Arab king of the city.
 It is good to take one's time in Hatra as there is so much to look at and the compulsion is to go on looking. Hatra is fortified with two city walls and citadels. The outer wall is 8 km long, and the inner is 6 km long. The center of Hatra consists of a group of temples enclosed by a special wall. The most important is the temple of Shamash and the shrine of the goddess Shahiro (the morning star). Impressive examples of Hatran art, with its statues of kings and precious collections of golden, silver and copper objects, can be admired at the National Museum of Iraq.

The Iraqi National Museum:

  The Iraqi National Museum is a museum in Baghdad. It shows priceless artifacts of the culture of Mesopotamia. the Museum was founded by the British explorer Gertrude Bell , and shortly before her death in 1926 opened as the Archaeological Museum of Baghdad.
 After the second Gulf War, the museum remained closed until 2000. On 23 in February 2009, Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki, has opened the museum and still opened until the present time. The museum was renovated and expanded, with international support.
 Collections because of the archaeological treasures of Mesopotamia are the most important collections of the Museum of the world, it includes important artifacts from the more than 5,000-year history of Mesopotamia in 28 galleries and vaults. The scope is more than half a million individual pieces.
 In 1989, gold treasure of Nimrud was discovered and is shown only as a photo exhibition, and the more than 1,400 pieces of jewelry store in the Iraqi state bank. During the Iraq war is a journalistic controversy relaxing on the extent of looting, the British journalist David Aaronovitch summed up in June 2003: There was some looting and damage to a small number of galleries and storage areas, and that is hard enough.
 But over the last six weeks is beginning to realize that most of the objects that had been on display in the museum galleries were removed before the war. In a report for the period Reiner Luyken mentioned in addition to this precaution, however, also suspect that museum staff are professional thieves have gained access to an underground vault, from the "5000 amulets, pendants and jewelry, plus almost as many Sumerian cylinder seals" were stolen.
 The whereabouts of the prey is largely unknown, while the stolen works of art thieves of opportunity had been confiscated or returned almost all voluntary. In addition to these depredations, it was also devastating: in the museum halls, the "only local rioters" were so Luyken, "damaged 28 of the 451 showcases"; emphasis is, however, the destruction of office facilities have been, as the "orgy of revenge" against the regime.

Ishtar Gate:

  The Ishtar Gate, one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon, was built during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604- 562 BC). Only the foundations of the gate were found, going down some 45 feet, with molded, unglazed figures. The gateway has been reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, from the glazed bricks found, so its original height is different in size. Reconstructed height is 47 feet.

 It was one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon. It was built in about 575 BC, the eighth fortified gate in the city. It is one of the most impressive monuments rediscovered in the ancient Near East. The Ishtar gate was decorated with glazed brick reliefs, in tiers, of dragons and young bulls. The gate itself was a double one, and on its south side was a vast antechamber.
 Through the gatehouse ran a stone-and brick-paved avenue, the so-called Processional Way, which has been traced over a length of more than half a mile. King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon dedicated the great Ishtar Gate to the goddess Ishtar. It was the main entrance into Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar II performed elaborate building projects in Babylon around 604-562 BC. His goal was to beautify his capital. He restored the temple of Marduk, the chief god, and also built himself a magnificent palace with the famous Hanging Gardens, which was reported by the Greek historian Herodotus to have been one of the wonders of the world.
 The gateway was completely covered with beautifully colored glazed bricks. Its reliefs of dragons and bulls symbolized the gods Marduk and Adad. Enameled tiles of glorious blue surrounded the brightly colored yellow and brown beasts. In front of the gateway outside the city was a road with walls decorated with reliefs of lions and glazed yellow tiles.
 The Ishtar gate was reconstructed in Berlin out of material excavated by Robert Koldeway. The Dedicatory Inscription on the Ishtar Gate reads: Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the faithful prince appointed by the will of Marduk, the highest of princely princes, beloved of Nabu, of prudent counsel, who has learned to embrace wisdom, who fathomed their divine being and reveres their majesty, the untiring governor, who always takes to heart the care of the cult of Esagila and Ezida and is constantly concerned with the well-being of Babylon and Borsippa, the wise, the humble, the caretaker of Esagila and Ezida, the firstborn son of Nabopolassar, the King of Babylon. Both gate entrances of Imgur-Ellil and Nemetti-Ellil following the filling of the street from Babylon had become increasingly lower. Therefore, I pulled down these gates and laid their foundations at the water table with asphalt and bricks and had them made of bricks with blue stone on which wonderful bulls and dragons were depicted. I covered their roofs by laying majestic cedars length-wise over them. I hung doors of cedar adorned with bronze at all the gate openings. I placed wild bulls and ferocious dragons in the gateways and thus adorned them with luxurious splendor so that people might gaze on them in wonder I let the temple of Esiskursiskur (the highest festival house of Markduk, the Lord of the Gods a place of joy and celebration for the major and minor gods) be built firm like a mountain in the precinct of Babylon of asphalt and fired bricks.

 

The Madrasa al Mustansiriyah:

  The Madrasa al Mustansiriyah was built by Caliph Mustansir Billah Abbasi of Baghdad on the side of the Rusafa overlooking the Tigris between 625 Hijri corresponding to 1227 AD accordingly. it is considered one of the ancient Arab-Islamic universities for the teaching of Sciences of the holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be acquainted with him, teaching of Islamic jurisprudence, Arabic linguistics, mathematics, medicine and religious obligations (Hikmat).
 This school was distinguished above all past and contemporary schools. in front of the gate there was a madrasa-Clock can be used to know the times of prayers and lessons. The Madrasa al-Mustansiriya is a rectangular building with a courtyard, surrounded by terraces, and in the middle of each side there are 6-foot-wide halls, each surrounded by two classrooms.
 Dormitories consisted of two floors and were at the end of the hall. The architect included all parts of the madrasa, such as rooms, halls, lounges and terraces, from a single frame includes all of them, and make an airy and elongated courtyard in the heart. Classrooms were in the south, whose ceiling is two stories higher than the opposite building, the room above the arcades as high as the lecture halls is built. The two buildings are connected by a two-story high corridor separated, connected to the external courtyard through two lateral openings, contrary to the prevailing wind direction.
 Thus, the air burst under the pressure in the outer wind in the course of vacuum to fill. It seems the building is designed to meet the air in a horizontal path that the extent to which the Muslim architects understood the principles of aerodynamics, long before modern science to get its details revealed.

 

Ctesiphon (Palace of Taq Kisra) :

  The Taq Kisra (often Taq-i Kisra written, translated: arch of Khousrau) is a Sassanian palace in ruins Mahuza, which is the only above-ground remnant of the historic city of Ctesiphon in Iraq. The palace said to have originated during the reign of Khosrow the Sassanid I (531-579).
 The historically important site of Ctesiphon, about 30 km to the south east of Baghdad, was built by the Parthian Persians on the opposite (east) side of the Tigris from Seleucia in the middle of the 2nd century BC. The two cities were joined by a bridge, and the Arabs coupled them together, calling them jointly Al-Mada'en (the Cities). Amidst its extensive ruin stands the best-known antique site in Iraq after Ur and Babylon: the fabulous and colossal arch of the great banqueting-hall of the great palace of Sapor, the Shah's luxurious capital, which was built in the middle of the 3rd century of our era.
 Experts believe that it is the widest and highest single-span vault built of baked bricks in the World: its construction at that time must have been a miracle of architectural planning. A descendant of ancient Mesopotamian structures in style, it embodied a skilful development of temples and palaces of the 3rd millennium BC, when the front part of great buildings would consist of large halls topped by high arches - as seen clearly at the entrances of Assyrian cities.

Shanasheel of Basra:

  It is called a cultural buildings in Iraq (Shanasheel), built on the first floor with stones, while the second floor built of wood. The wood structures are full of ornamented wooden designs. For me Shanasheel is a challenge because you have to see them and how it has very strange properties. I love this type of building, which is a traditional architecture.

Erbil Citadel:

  Erbil Citadel Town, which is situated dramatically on top of an artificial, 32-meters high earthen mound, and visually dominating the expansive modern city of Erbil, is believed to have been in continuous existence for 7000 years or even more. Thus, it may be regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world.
 Because of its past fortifications and steeply inclined mound, which is at some locations nearly 45 degrees, it has managed to survive numerous sieges and fierce attacks. The existing fabric, however, goes back to several hundred years but is, nevertheless, of extreme vernacular architectural and urban interest, not only for Iraq but also for humanity at large. Basically, the Citadel is an elliptical shaped town covering slightly more than 10 hectares of dense fabric composed mainly of traditional courtyard houses and built in ochre-colored bricks. In addition, there are several important public buildings such as 3 mosques, a public bath (Hammam), 7 historic graves, two gates, and several open urban spaces.
 The residential quarters are reached by a labyrinthine network of narrow pedestrian alleyways which spread out in a tree-like pattern from the main Southern Gate.
 Today, there are about 330 houses from a total of about 500 that possess important cultural and architectural interest. Some houses, public buildings, and urban spaces, have authentic cultural values and show remarkable ingenuity and resourcefulness in local architectural traditions. To walk through its meandering pedestrian alleyways and experience the exhilarating visual and spatial qualities of its traditional architecture, the Citadel is truly a remarkable human achievement. It deserves the full support of all humanity to preserve its unique character for the enjoyment of all, and to ensure its survival for future generations.

 

Iraq as a passage between two oceans and between three continents bridge
  Iraq is a country in Western Asia, which borders with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Persian Gulf.
 The most famous rivers in the country are the Tigris and Euphrates, the highest elevation is the Gundah Zhur with a height of 3607 meters.
 This is part of a 3,000 meter high mountain range, which is located in the northeast of the country. Iraq is a rather unusual destination that has long been shattered by war.
 However, Iraq is a culturally rich country, which offers tourists a variety of interesting sights. The capital city is Baghdad, which should be visited during a vacation in Iraq if possible. Basra is again the most important port city in the country, here are the most oil wells are in Iraq. Ashur, an archaeological site is so significant that it is even on the Heritage List of UNESCO.
 This ruined city is estimated at least 4700 years old. Known beyond the borders of the city of Babylon, whose ruins can still be seen today in Iraq. In ancient times this was one with its hanging gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The climate in Iraq can be described as a continental climate - this is characterized by long, hot summers and cold winters.
 In summer, temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius not uncommon, while it can go down in the winter months, temperatures below freezing. For a trip to the country in the spring and fall months are best.
 To enter into Iraq, foreign tourists need a valid visa. This entitled to a stay of up to 30 days in the country. To apply you should be able to present a valid passport. Nor should one think of a trip to Iraq on the necessary vaccinations. Cholera, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A and B are the diseases against which they should be vaccinated if possible.

Sulaymaniyah, Authentic Heritage :

Sulaymaniyah, with 807,614 inhabitants, the second most important city of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan in Iraq.
 It lies east of the regional capital of Erbil, Kurdistan in the north-eastern Iraq. Designated by the Kurds as Slemani, it is as Kurdistan "most secular", Sulaymaniyah is often referred to as the "Paris of Iraq," which vital to their cultural life and is on its boulevard-like streets.
 Sulaymaniyah was founded in 1784 by the Kurdish Prince Ibrahim Pasha Baban. it is also said that the people of this city to build a ring have been found, which is said to have belonged to the Prophet Solomon.
 As ruler of the seat Baban dynasty and the capital of the Sanjak, the town grew rapidly and gained great influence. it was in contrast to other cities in the region, not a city wall and gates. There were two military barracks in the city. When in 1812 the British Armenian Serovbe Kartnesi visited the city, he reported 15 Nestorian, 12 Armenian, Jacobite, and 4 of the 4000 Muslim families.   Sulaymaniyah was both an economic and cultural center for the region.
 The Sorani dialect of Kurdish literary language was developed here to spread the influence and the town also, so that the displaced Gorani here.
 After the fall of 1851 and Baban dynasty of the First World War the city was struck Iraq.
 From 1922 to 1924 the city was the capital of the kingdom did not recognize Kurdistan, which had been called by Sheikh Mahmud Berzanci. From 1990 the town was under the protection of the Allies and was rebuilt after the Second Gulf War. It was also the seat of the Parliament of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The city is also the center of the PUK.
 In addition, the city has a university. In recent years, the city became one of the fastest growing cities of Iraq, if not the one with the highest population growth, created so in recent years, 30 new districts.
 The footprint of the city grew between 2002 and 2006 alone, 61% and this growth continues. Every year, about 20,000 new homes and about 100,000 people are moving to.
 Meanwhile created dozens of new buildings, including a new five-star hotel, which will be completed at the top of Iraq and already nicknamed mini Burj al Arab wears. Other planned projects include the largest shopping center in Iraq, and the Qaiwan Twin Towers.

The ancient Babylon in the south of Baghdad:

 Babylon, the capital of Babylonia, an ancient empire of Mesopotamia, was a city on the Euphrates River, in what is now southern Iraq.

Historically, Babylonia refers to the First Dynasty of Babylon established by Hammurabi and to the Neo-Babylonian Period after the fall of the Assyrian Empire.
 Babylon became one of the most important cities of the ancient Middle East when Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) made it the capital of his kingdom of Babylonia.        Hammurabi issued a famous code of laws, found on a column at Susa, for the management of the empire.
 Under the reign of Naboplashar (625-605 BC) of the Neo-Babylonian Dynasty, the Babylonian civilization reached its ultimate glory.
 The Babylonian quasi-feudal society was divided into classes. Babylonian literature was well developed, and records have been found of highly developed religion, history and science. Medicine, chemistry, alchemy, botany, zoology, math and astronomy were practiced. This religion and the cuneiform writing were derived from the older culture of Sumer.
 They also developed an abstract form of writing based on cuneiform symbols. These symbols were written on wet clay tablets and baked in the hot sun. The Babylonian "Epic of Creation" is written on seven tablets and was recited at the New Year Festival in Babylon. It reported on the success of the city-god of Babylon, Marduk, and on how Marduk became the supreme deity, king over all gods of heaven and earth.
 The Babylonians had a more advanced number system than we have today, with a positional system with a base 60. They also made tables to aid in their calculations.
 The Babylonians divided the day in the way that we do, with 24 hours of 60 minutes each and each minute lasting 60 seconds. These Babylonian institutions influenced Assyria and contributed to the later history of the Middle East and Western Europe. Babylonia degenerated into anarchy circa 1180 BC, but flourished once again as a subsidiary state of the Assyrian Empire after the 9th century BC. Babylon was destroyed circa 689 BC by the Assyrians under Sennacherib, but was rebuilt.
 Later, Nabopolassar established what is generally known as the Chaldean or New Babylonian Empire in 625 BC, which reached its height under his son Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC). The brilliant color and luxury of Babylon became legendary from the days of Nebuchadnezzar, who is credited for building the legendary Hanging Gardens.
 It is said that the Gardens were built by Nebuchadnezzar to please his wife or concubine who had been "brought up in Media and had a passion for mountain surroundings." During this time the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, existed.
 There are no records of the Hanging Gardens in Babylonian literature, and the most descriptive accounts of it come from Greek historians. In tablets from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, descriptions of his palace, the city of Babylon, and the walls are found, but not a single reference to the Hanging Gardens is found. Some historians believe that the legendary Hanging Gardens are only the blended stories of the gardens and palm trees of Mesopotamia, the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, the Tower of Babel, and the ziggurats told by Alexander’s soldiers when they returned home.
 In this century some of the structure of the Hanging Gardens was discovered. Archaeologists are gathering evidence to reach conclusions about the location of the Gardens, their irrigation system and their true appearance. Greek sources describe the Hanging Gardens as being quadrangular; each side was four plethora long, consisting of arched vaults on foundations.
 The gardens had plants cultivated above ground level, and the roots of the trees were embedded in an upper terrace rather than in the earth. The whole mass was supported on stone columns. Water was pumped up and allowed to flow down sloping channels, irrigating the garden. Recent archaeological excavations at Babylon uncovered the foundation of the palace. Other findings that support the existence of the Hanging Gardens include the Vaulted Building with thick walls and irrigation near the southern palace.
 A group of archaeologists surveyed the area of the southern palace and reconstructed the Vaulted Building as the Hanging Gardens. The Greek historian, Strabo, stated that the gardens were situated by the River Euphrates. Others argue that the site is too far from the Euphrates to support the theory because the Vaulted Building is several hundred yards away. The site of the palace was reconstructed, and the gardens were located in the area stretching from the river to the palace. Massive walls, 25 feet thick were recently discovered on the river banks, which might have been stepped to form the terraces described in the Greek references. In 538 B.C., the last of the Babylonian rulers surrendered to Cyrus the Great of Persia

The Marshes :

The Marshes (Al-Ahwar in Arabic) is a unique region to Iraq where nature seems to preserve its virgin aspect.
 It covers a large area surrounding Shatt El-Arab waterway and the union of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers just below Qurna, stretching from Kut in the north to Basra in the south.
 This vast expanse of marshland dotted with shallow lagoons occupies a total area of about 10,000 km2 and is the home of endless variety of birds, fish, plants, reeds, and bulrushes.
 Old Arabic books suggest that the Marshes were the aftermath of a devastating flood which took place around 620 AD, but archaeological indications suggest that they were formed long before Sumerian times, when the Arabian Gulf waters began to recede southwards, leaving behind all those marshes alongside the Tigris and Euphrates. Marsh Arabs (the Ma'adan) who inhabit the area live in huts (known as Sarifa's) built from reeds with elaborate latticework entrances and attractive designs that goes back to ancient times.
 It looks like hundreds of islands clustered together into small townships. Most prominent among them is Chebayish on the left bank of Euphrates. Each "island" is in fact a man-made mixture of earth and papyrus pressed hard (to form a base of a hut) and called Chebasheh. The watery "streets" are plied by boats of different kinds and sizes, the most popular being the Mashhouf, which is made from reeds and bitumen.
 The main mode of transport through the reedy waterways is a long, slim canoe, known as a Mashuf. It is thought that this way of life has continued unchanged for about 6000 years. A delightful scene there is a Marsh Wedding, when the bride is carried in a lovely "regatta" made up of her own mash-houf and those of her party, all loud with men's lilting songs and women's joyous cries. For taking trips in the Marshes, the best months are March and April. The weather then is pleasant, and the whole place is chock-full of plants and flowers.
 Reeds may rise 6 m high and papyrus, 3 m. In the winter season, water birds of all kinds migrate to the Marshes, which then become a hunter's paradise. Fish, however, are always plentiful and the local inhabitants catch them with nets or spear them with a five-pronged 'fala', peculiar to the area.

Basra hugs the Tigris and Euphrates:

 In 638, at the behest of the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, in place of the old Persian settlement of General Utba ibn Ghazwan was established a military base and trading center.
 The Arabs used the base to fight the Sassanid Empire from here. To this camp was the city of Basra. In the 18th Century was a few miles away founded the new city of Basra. The remains of ancient Basra and Supports point are out of town and can be seen in the form of a hill.
 On 9 December of the year 656 in Basra met each other the rival supporters of the fourth caliph and son in law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Ali ibn Abi Talib, and his opponents who challenged Ali's claim to the caliphate. As the "Battle of the Camel in Basra" down in history battle ended in victory for the party of Ali ("Ali Shiites"), founding the schism since then the Shia and Sunni Muslims.
 From the city of Basra came very early and influential Sufi Hasan al-Basri (642-728). He worked primarily in Baghdad, where he taught his pious and ascetic view of Islam.
 Basra had also Al-Hariri (1054-1122), an Arab poet and grammarian who was known for his Makamen. Its peak, the city had in the 8th and 9 Century. Until the invasion of the Mongols under Hulagu in the 13th Century Basra was a thriving commercial center and a metropolis.
 Since then, the city lost more and more important. The traveler Ibn Battuta found the city in the 14th Century lapsed before the most part. Basra remained Ottoman until the First World War and was then occupied by Britain. The British occupiers modernized the city, what was the most important port city of Basra, Iraq.
 During World War II, Basra was an important transshipment point for goods support the Western Allies against the Soviet Union. At the end of the war, Basra had 93,000 inhabitants.
 In 1964, the University of Basrah was founded. The population reached 1.5 million in 1977, but then fell during the First Gulf War between Iraq and Iran, possibly up to 400,000 people. During this war, Basra was fiercely contested and was repeatedly shelled by Iranian territory, but never fell into the hands of the Iranians.
 During the Second Gulf War in 1991 Basra was destroyed by Allied air raids again. After the war, Basra was the center of the revolt of the southern Iraqi people against Saddam Hussein. The rebellion broke out on 2 March 1991 and was based on the promise of the Bush administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein. After the rebels had but received no support from the Allies, in Basra killed at least 3,000 people.