Places of Interest in Iraq

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The majority of this country is covered by deserts, except for the two main rivers, Tigris and Euphrates. Since the land is dry, weather here is quite hot most of the time, though the mountains up north do see cold winters and snow falls, sometimes so severe, it leads to flooding.

Babylon is one of the places that is famous worldwide and is situated right here in Iraq. An ancient site, that was once prominent, is covered with high walls, and palaces apart from the magnificent temples. Even though the place has been eroded by rain and time, it still stands tall. To get to this monument, one can either take the boat or a water taxi from Baghdad.

One of the most famous ancient sites in Iraq is the Ur of Chaldees, which was even mentioned in the Bible. It is said to be the birth place of Abraham and built around 4000 BC. It remained the capital of Sumeria for decades, and the tombs and ziggurats in Ur have remained well preserved.

What remains of the city of Ctesiphon is this huge Arch, which was part of a banquet hall built during the early century by Persians who ruled the place. It has survived the severe flooding that happened in the Tigris River and is still open to tourists to feast their eyes on.

The hands of Victory were a monument that was built by Saddam Hussain, to celebrate his victory. This used to dominate the Baghdad skyline ever since the Iran and Iraq war took place. It basically marks the entrance of new parade grounds in the central region of Baghdad. It looks like two swords crossing each other at the top as if to symbolise the war that happened. At the base of this monument, lie nearly 5000 helmets belonging to Iranian soldiers who were slain in the war. The hands that hold the swords are a replica of Saddam Hussein’s, in fact created from a photograph given to the sculpture. This was torn down and destroyed during the recent war.

Yet another tourist attraction in Iraq is the Shaheed Monument, which was open to public in 1983. This is again a place that symbolises all the Iraqi soldiers who died during the war with Iran. A huge dome, which has been split in the middle, with the two halves offset, has the domes are sheltering a flame. Around this area, a playground for children, walkways, bridges, ample car park, and even a lake can be found.

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