Cities in Iraq: Babylon

Cities in Iraq: Babylon Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

Situated 90km south of Baghdad, Babylon was once the capital city of the kingdom of Babylonia.

It is perhaps the most famous of all the ancient sites in Iraq. First reaching prominence under King Hammurabi, and achieving its zenith during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-56BC), Babylon was renowned for its high, well-fortified walls and for the magnificence of its temples and palaces.

Its famous Hanging Gardens, built by Nebuchadnezzar for his wife Amytas, were one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Amytas was a Mede and her home was in mountainous country, so the King reputedly had the Hanging Gardens built to allay her homesickness.

Today, Babylon lies completely in ruins. A large and splendidly carved stone lion is all that remains of its former glories.

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