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Iraq sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places

An old Arab country, Iraq is home to a great number of unique historic landmarks and archaeological sites. The territory of the modern country is one of the earliest cradles of civilization in the world. Nowadays, the country has a multiethnic population, and this fact has found its reflection in the multidimensional culture. Just like many centuries ago, many nomadic tribes live in Iraq, and tribal territories peacefully border with beautiful modern cities.
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First signs of people in the territory of modern Iraq date back to the Middle Paleolithic. Several ancient civilizations appeared in this region. This was the location of ancient Babylonia, the Akkadian and Assyrian empires. Until the beginning of the 7th century, the territory of modern Iraq was a part of the Sassanid Empire. Arab troops conquered the country in 636. Closer to the mid-8th century, the city of Baghdad became the center of the Arab Caliphate. The caliphate’s period of prosperity ended in 1258, after the Mongol invasion.
The region survived through a difficult and long period of colonization. Ottomans conquered it in 1534 and made Iraq a part of the Ottoman Empire. The British conquered the country in 1914. Despite the obtaining of independence in 1932, Iraq couldn’t completely get rid of the reign of the British Empire. During the 20th century, the country suffered from revolutions and military coups. Even nowadays, there are tensions between different political parties and groups in the country. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Despite numerous political and armed conflicts, Iraq has managed to keep its rich historic heritage. The Great Ziggurat of Ur is a unique ancient temple that was built roughly 4,000 years ago, during the period when Ancient Mesopotamia was in bloom. Despite such an honorable age, this ancient stone temple is in great condition. It is still a mystery for modern scientists and archaeologists, how people could use giant stones to build such a big and incredibly looking temple thousands of years ago.
The Erbil Citadel in the city of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is a no less important landmark of the ancient world. The age of this citadel is roughly 5,000 years. In different periods of time, the gorgeous fortress with 30-meter walls belonged to Assyrians, Persians, and Babylonians. Turks and Arabs were among its last owners. Located on a hill, the gorgeous citadel still amazes visitors with its impenetrable look. Many elements of the construction remained unchanged since the building time.
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The ancient city of Babylon is an important archaeological site of the international level. This is the capital of the legendary Babylon Kingdom that was a prosperous country approximately 3,000 years ago. In the 3rd century, the once rich and powerful city suffered from decline. During numerous archaeological excavations, scientists could find the remaining fragments of old palaces, temples, and other cult buildings. Numerous artifacts, which were discovered during these excavations, are now displayed in Iraq’s museums.
The ruins of the ancient city of Hatra are a no less interesting and important attraction. The city is located in the northern part of Iraq. Hatra was the capital of the Parthian Kingdom. This was a large center of trade and an important strategic point. Hatra had kept many of its unique buildings for thousands of years but, unfortunately, the city lost many of its landmarks in modern times due to military conflicts.
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Iraq is famous for its important religious centers that attract pilgrims from all over the world. In Najaf, there is an important religious landmark – the Imam Ali Mosque. Many famous Shi'ite imams studied here. During its long history, the mosque was destroyed several times, but every time it was reconstructed thanks to the efforts of local people. According to a legend, the mosque is located in a unique place – the burial site of Noah and Adam. The first mosque appeared here in 977. It was erected to house the tomb of Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the first Shi'ite Imam after Muhammad. The mosque suffered much damage in the past, but it still has its original look. Not only pilgrims from all over the world but also curious tourists visit the mosque these days.
It is possible to reach Iraq from Istanbul, Frankfurt, Athens, Dubai, and Amman. The country has overland transport connection with the neighboring Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. These countries have regular bus connections. Tourists can also move between the countries using a rented car.

Famous and uniques places in Iraq from our review series

Abu Ghraib Prison

From the series “Famous prisons of the world”
Abu Ghraib prison is located in the city of the same name in Iraq. It is located in the vicinity of Baghdad. The opening of this prison took place relatively recently, in 1960. It was built specifically for the detention of political criminals. Abu Ghraib prison has become known all over the world because some of the world's largest mass executions and tortures were committed in it. One of the most brutal periods of incarceration began in 2003. United States troops invaded Iraq at this time.

Evidence of mass torture was made public a year later. The US military used them against prisoners. The prison came under the control of the Iraqi government in 2006. All prisoners were transferred from Abu Ghraib to other prisons in the country as soon as possible. The Iraqi government decided to … Read all

Jarmo

From the series “Remains of the First Ancient Cities”
The city of Jarmo is a unique settlement from the early Neolithic period. It was founded in the 7th Millennium BC. The archaeological district is located in the scenic foothill areas. Oak and pistachio forests cover a significant part of its territory today. According to rough estimates, the area of the ancient city was more than 12,000 square meters. The city existed until the beginning of the 5th Millennium BC. Adobe structures, as well as stone tools, were discovered during research.

Shell jewelry discovered during the excavations has become an important find for archaeologists. They indicate that the inhabitants of Jarmo maintained trade relations with neighboring tribes. Numerous products and tools made of bone also indicate a high level of development of the city's residents. They … Read all

Babylon Ruins

From the series “The Surviving Artifacts of Jewish Civilization”
People who practice Judaism and show interest in the culture of the ancient world, will like to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. This city was founded more than 5 000 years ago. It was one of the largest cities in ancient Mesopotamia. For hundreds of years, Babylon remained the most important political, economic, and cultural center. Today, you can see the ruins of one of the oldest cities in the world near Al Hillah. Babylon was destroyed as early as the 1000 BC. However, the ruins of this ancient city do not cease to amaze with their greatness.

An area of ​​the ancient city was about 4 square km. There were many fortifications, majestic palaces, and religious monuments. Today, their ruins attract to these places many people practicing Judaism. Since the beginning of … Read all
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Saudi Arabia to Open 38 Hotels in Diriyah

Diriyah is one of the first mega projects in Saudi Arabia. Hotels and other infrastructure will start opening next year, and all works are expected to end in 2026. The first 18 restaurants in Bujairi Terrace will start operating already in early 2022. Read this

25.06.2022

Sightseeing in popular cities of Iraq

Baghdad
Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr, the second Abbasid Caliph, founded the city in 762. Initially, he named the city Madinat al-Salaam or The City of Peace. Locals considered this name as a symbol of peace and prosperity. The name Baghdad became dominant later, turning into the only name of the settlement by the 11th century. The new city quickly became an important settlement and the center of the Abbasid Caliphate. The importance of Baghdad was growing due to its beneficial geographical and … Read more

Map of travel guides to Iraq cities

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