Iraq is a country of ancient culture, rich in historical and architectural monuments. The territory of modern Iraq used to be the center of civilization. This land was literally saturated with legends and myths.

Baghdad is the capital of the country and one of the oldest cities in the world. The first settlements appeared on the banks of the Tigris River in the 19th century B.C. Modern Baghdad was founded in 762 as the capital of the Abbasid state and became a major cultural and commercial center of the Middle East. Here one will find the so-called 'Golden Mosque', the mosque of Al Kadhimiya built in the 16th century, the mosque and mausoleum of Imam Abu Hanifa, the mausoleum of Zubaydah and many other Islamic buildings. Special attention is attracted to the building of the famous medieval school, Al Mustansiriya, which hosts the university now. The most interesting historical monuments of the city are Abbasid Palace, Suq al-Ghazl Minaret. The famous Suq market separates the old quarters from the younger regions.

Other unique monuments of the city are Ramadan Mosque, the shrine of Al-Qadr, the mausoleum of Omar al-Suhrawardi with its huge dome. The mosque of Al-Kadumayn is one of the most revered mosques in the Islamic world. The Mosque of Umm Al Maarik was built in the 20th century. Its minaret is 43 meters high, and the mosque itself contains the special Quran, which is believed to have been written by Saddam Hussein's blood.

The new Mosque of the Caliphs with its ancient minaret, which is about a thousand years old, turns into a place of special interest, which formerly belonged to the palace of the caliphs.

Of great interest is also the Wastani Gate dating back to the 13th century. It is the only surviving fragment of the medieval fortifications of the city.

The occupation authorities have tried to destroy all the sites associated with the period of Saddam Hussein, but something is still there. The luxurious Al-Rihab Palace, located in the western part of Baghdad, as well as eight palaces scattered throughout the city had all been Saddam Hussein's residences. Access to their territory is forbidden, but one can at least admire the gorgeous outlook of the palaces. The monument to the Revolution and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are also worth seeing. In Baghdad, there is an interesting Triumph Arch, shaped to resemble swords made of the metal of captured Iranian weapons.

Before the war, Baghdad used to have a large number of excellent museums, including the Archaeological Museum of Iraq, the Iraqi Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Traditional Heritage and others. The Iraqi National Museum was the largest museum complex in the Middle East. During the war most of the museums were looted and lost their artifacts.

The best places for quiet rest in Baghdad are Zaur Park, the gardens of Baghdad island with their many attractions, restaurants and an amusement park, as well as Baghdad Zoo, located in the bend of the Tigris.

The ruins of the ancient capital of Babylonia are the main archaeological monument of the country. They are located about 100 kilometers south of the capital on the banks of the Euphrates. Summer and Winter Palaces of Nebuchadnezzar II are also interesting as the place where the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon were located. Around the ruins of Babylon, one can see a monumental summer residence of Saddam Hussein, as well as several ancient burial mounds.

Ur is one of the most ancient Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia. It stretches in the lower part of the Euphrates River. Samara is the center of the Abbasid Empire and the ancient capital of the Islamic world. Some of its mosques and minarets are included in the List of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The city of Mosul is a center of the homonymous province, where one of the largest universities in Iraq is located. Near the town of Nineveh, there are the excavations of the ancient Assyrian capital of the legendary kingdom and the enormous palace of King Ashurbanipal.

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