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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Baghdad

Al-Mansur, the Caliph of Islam, founded the city of Baghdad to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids in on July 30, 762 AD. The city was designed as a circle about 2 km in diameter, leading it to be known as the "Round City".

The first tar-paved roads appeared in Baghdad in the eighth century.

Baghdad was likely the largest city in the world from shortly after its foundation until the 930s, when it was tied by Córdoba. Several estimates suggest that the city contained over a million inhabitants at its peak.

Many of the One Thousand and One Nights tales are set in 9th century Baghdad.


The Middle East had a "cold period" in the 900s-1000s and in the winter the Tigris river would Freeze and they would have thick snow on the ground for months in Baghdad. 

Baghdad was overrun in 1258 by the Mongols, who destroyed the irrigation system. The resulting decline lasted for many centuries due to frequent plagues and multiple successive empires.

Siege of Baghdad by the Mongols led by Hulagu Khan in 1258.

In 1534, Baghdad was captured by the Ottoman Turks. Under the Ottomans, Baghdad continued its decline, partially as a result of the enmity between its rulers and Iranian Safavids, which did not accept the Sunni control of the city.

Baghdad fell to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude on March 11, 1917 during the World War I Mesopotamian Campaign.

Baghdad in 1930

The 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused significant damage to Baghdad's transportation, power, and sanitary infrastructure as the US-led coalition forces launched massive aerial assaults in the city in the two wars.

The toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue (see below) in the city's Firdos Square on April 9, 2003 shortly after the Iraq War invasion marked the symbolic capture of Baghdad by the Coalition forces.


The population of Baghdad as of 2011 was approximately 7,216,040.

It is the second largest city in the Arab World (after Cairo, Egypt), and the second largest city in Western Asia (after Tehran, Iran).

In an annual survey of the world’s most liveable major cities conducted in 2013, Baghdad ranked dead last at number 223 on the list

Source Wikipedia

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