Babylon, Iraq

Posted On December 1, 2009 

Babylon in present day is a Al Hillah, a province in Iraq. It was a city-state during the olden Mesopotamia. Iraq is located at a distance of nearly 85 kilometers in the southern direction of the Baghdad city. The ruins of Babylon have the mud-brick buildings, a mound etc in the debris of the city. This area is situated on the fertile plain of Mesopotamia in between the Euphrates River and the Tigris River in Iraq. The city of Babylon is constructed again. The historical sources informed that Babylon was a small town which was developed in the very start of the third century BC. The town had flourished soon. It got all the required importance as well as political reputation. The city of Babylon had acquired the title of being the holy city by 2300 BC. The Neo-Babylonia Empire started from 612 BC. The Hanging garden of Babylon had acquired a position in the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The first mention of the city of Babylon was found in a dated tablet. The tablet contained the information of Sargon of Akkad. It is also stated that it was Sargon who built the Babylon city. Recently few researchers have people might get confused with Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian with Sargon of Akkad. Scholars like I.J.Gelb suggest that the name of the city is the developed version of its old name “Babil”. Ranjit Pal stated that the city belonged to the east. Joan Oates describes the place as the gateway to the gods.

babylon city

Lately it was found that the population of the city has started to decrease. Amorites, nomadic tribes from the west have started living in Babylon since the early 20th century BC. There were many new people who were semitic speakers. The new population didn’t practice agriculture like the locals of Babylons. They preferred sheep herding over agriculture.

Saddam Hussein in 1983 started the reconstruction of the city. He didn’t clear the ruins of the old city and constructed the new city over the ruins. Thus the artworks and the artifacts which was in the ruins was buried deep again. Saddam Hussein’s name was inscribed on many of the bricks that were used for the new construction. The inscription that reads: “This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq” was frequently used.

When the end of Gulf War arrived, Saddam Hussein was expecting to construct a modern palace over some of the ruins of the city. The palace was to be constructed in the Pyramidal style. The palace was named as Saddam hill. In 2003 Saddam Hussein wanted to start line of cable car over the Babylon city which was stopped due to the invasion.

babylon ruins

An article stated that the Iraqi leaders along with the UN officials are planning to restore the city. They want to transfer it into a cultural center.

Babylon has been opened again in May 2009 for tourism. You can take a flight and reach Najaf airport which is the nearest located airport. From here you can take a cab and within an hour you will in Babylon. You will get many guided tours and also good accommodation in Babylon. The hotels also arrange guided tours to their visitors. The best time to visit is from November to January.

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