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By WimdeVos  
Samara is the most memorable architectural image in Iraq. The minaret was built in about 850 AD and is a 52m-tall spiral, which looks rather like a medieval image of the Tower of Babel. And that is the point - in its infancy, Islam embraced the forms of the sacred buildings of earlier religions, and this minaret is in effect an Islamic ziggurat. It is also an astonishingly powerful, elemental and mystic structure. If anything happened to this minaret it would be an act of barbarism of the highest order. The prelude to a new dark age.
And then came Babylon - the mythic Biblical city. It was rebuilt in about 600 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar, who sacked Jerusalem and drove the Jews into exile, and it is described in great and lurid detail in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. Here I explored the remains of the Hanging Gardens and the site of the massive ziggurat of Babylon - the latter is sometimes said to be the legendary Tower of Babel - but all is horribly transformed.
To get an idea of size, look at the little man climbing up the side.

Tags: Photo journalism General Iraq Middle east Baghdad Landscape and travel Zigara Samara

Voters: wasper, rosiebobo, jdenman and 7 more

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wasper 15 533 1 Ireland
3 Aug 2008 12:33PM
My regret is for never climbing this magnificent building. It had a dual purpose; one was calling for prayer & the second was a watch tower.
Thanks for sharing this us.
jdenman 13 19 5 Spain
3 Aug 2008 12:41PM
What a great looking building, super composition.
Joan50 15
3 Aug 2008 12:45PM
marvelous shot
bombebit 13 22 Denmark
3 Aug 2008 1:18PM
stunning contrast..
15 Sep 2008 10:42PM
I would like to thank everybody for looking but please don't forget what the local people are going thru. Also I would like to add that several of my very close friends died there amongst of which are Paul and |ames, please take a look at the website I've made for them

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